Friday, 30 August 2013

3 Months

Day 92 - 29 de Agosto: Isla Santa Cruz and Isla Floreana

I got a great sleep at the hotel last night. I've been on gravol for the last little while here since we've been travelling on boats a lot, so it's no wonder the sleeping's easy. We had hard boiled eggs for breakfast today, which i've been turning into some great sandwiches. By 7:30, we were set to leave to the pier for our day trip to Floreana Island. Again, it was a different boat from usual and by chance, I was the last one to board. The boat was really full of people today and this time I had nowhere to lie horizontal... at least I thought. With nowhere for me to sit, I was lucky enough to be given a cot in the front cabin to sleep in! With new gravol in, I was out like a light, all the way to Floreana. We docked in a very small town. Apparently, only a little more than 100 people live on this island! We got on the passenger transport truck (chiva) and were taken to the beginning of a forest trail. Here, we were taken to an artificial habitat for tortoises that were taken as pets and can never adjust to living in the wild. It was actually feeding day today, so a couple of them were munching on some greenery on a feeding platform. We were taught more about the giant land tortoises - there are 10 different types of them in Galapagos. Some of them actually live in the volcanos and have a 6th sense that warns them when a volcano will soon erupt. They can actually walk 3km in one day if they have a purpose like this for it. We continued the hike up a hillside and into some caves and rock pathways made from compact ash. Apparently these areas were first used by pirates, making Floreana one of the first inhabited islands. Lastly, we saw a stone carved like an inca idol. Apparently it baffled people for a long time before they found out that it wasn't ancient or culturally significant at all - one of the first locals had just carved it for fun. After the walk, we went and had lunch in town. You could tell that people were still feeling the drugs - there were times when nobody was talking, just staring blankly. It was time to wake up though; we were now set to head out for our second snorkelling session! 5 minutes on the boat and we were in this particular spot. We got on wetsuits, flippers and masks, then I was the first to brace myself for the cold water. Jumping in was a rush of cold, but luckily it didn't take long to get used to. And even if it was cold, it was quickly well worth it. Before we knew it, we were swimming with sea turtles! The first one surprised me - the second one shocked me by it's size. It was bigger than me! We continued on and saw many more sea turtles as well as countless types of colourful fish. When people started heading back, I did too and quickly changed into some warm clothes. Before leaving, Olivia had a surprise for us - donuts to celebrate 3 things: the end of our galapagos trip, our companion's release from the hospital and me completing 3 months of travel! It was really cool! I got my cabin spot again and got ready for the boat ride back to Santa Cruz, but there was still one more surprise. We stopped at a bay about 10 mins away and saw another amazing animal - a penguin! It was the second smallest penguin type in the world, measuring about 30cm in height. It stood on a rock and posed for us as we took pictures. There were all sorts of other animals in the bay too - perhaps more than some zoos. From here, I lay in my little cot in the boat until we made it back to Port Ayora, Santa Cruz. We had a fair bit of time to chill out until dinner so I decided to just take off and check out the town. I wandered through all the streets of the safest place I've been in on this trip. It's the same sort of logic as why Hawaii has less crime than the other states - if you do something on an island - there's nowhere to run. Anyway, I wandered my way to a little bar by the pier and watched everything go by for the next little while. When it was finally time for dinner, I went back to the hotel and rejoined the group. We went to an awesome pizza place (mine had sausage and chicken and onion rings and all the other ingredients for a heart attack, but soo good). Olivia had a continuous supply of friends here all night - i'm convinced she's secretly the mayor here because she knows everyone. After dinner, we all casually hung out on the hotel terrace until a respectable time to go to the club. To mix it up, the group all put a team effort into DJing with my ipod. Most of the music on here is the stuff from my parent's itunes account, which put everyone in a good mood because the old stuff never goes out of style. The night finished off in a nearby club, trying the local specialty (caƱa shots). Sugarcane liquor is really popular here and it's good. It was our last night and we had a lot to celebrate. We were a great group and I had a wicked time here with them all!

Floreana Island
Tortoise feeding time
Stone face
The snorkelling spot
The penguin

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