Saturday, 7 April 2012

Galapagos Islands - Day 4

Even though the food was excellent as normal it was a sombre breakfast as six of  the current group were heading to the airport after we’d finished eating.  It was a sad reminder that in only a couple of days our Galapagos adventure would also come to an end. 

Testing out the crystal water before a body surf
Those of us who remained gathered our things and headed to the shore where we walked for about an hour through a nice forest path to Tortuga Bay, where we were to do some kayaking for the morning.  On the way we walked up an absolutely beautiful beach, complete with soft white sand, turquoise water and small perfect surf.  Sarah couldn’t resist going for a quick body surf while we waited for Chimarro to catch up, and when he did he insisted that we had to hurry up to get to the kayaks.

Paddling around the mangroves, we saw large schools of white-tipped reef sharks, one turtle and lots of iguanas sunning themselves on the lava rocks.  Unfortunately it had been lightly raining when we set out in the kayaks so neither of us had applied sunscreen, but two hours later it was midday and the sun was scorching and were both soon feeling the burn while heading back in. 

Walking back to the beautiful beach that we earlier passed, many huge marine iguanas had come out for the sun and were lining the beach and swimming in the surf, so Dave stayed to photograph them while the Stepho’s and Sarah enjoyed the crystal clear, refreshing surf.  Dave was pretty excited as he managed to get down on his stomach and lay literally centimetres away from these beautiful iguanas, getting some close up photos and watching a few of them swim out to the open ocean looking  for food.

Up close and personal with an Iguana
We spent a bit too long enjoying ourselves and after retrieving Dave from the iguanas, we really had to power walk back to the harbour to be there by the designated time (once again Chimarro had just told us where to be in 3 hours time and then left us to our own devices, we’re not sure that he really knows, or cares, what it means to be a tour guide).  We arrived on time and then had to wait while Chimarro tried to smooth talk some more girls… and then later in the afternoon we had to pay for our own water taxi to get back to the catamaran (after ducking into port for more ice cream) because Chimarro had fallen asleep and forgotten to ask the crew to pick us up when he said he would.  His chances of a good tip were diminishing...

Sarah jumping off the cliffs...
The plan for the afternoon was to go to the ‘German Beach’ at 4pm, which essentially meant we couldn’t do anything else in the afternoon as we had to be on board by then.  We tried explaining to Chimarro that we (us and the Stepho’s) would prefer to go to the famous Darwin Centre since that wasn’t in our itinerary rather than another beach, but apparently being accommodating and flexible isn’t part of his itinerary and he blamed the company owners for setting the inflexible schedule.  So we all took a short boat trip to the German Beach which is a small, dirty, cold beach that wasn’t worth the visit.  In fact, once we were there, Chimarro even said it was crap so we don’t know why he had been so insistent that we see it.

Since the beach wasn’t worth passing the rest of our afternoon on we decided to walk to the nearby ‘Las Grietas’ which are cliffs that you can jump off into the ocean.  Only Sarah jumped off the rocks into the cold water, and the place was very crowded so we didn’t linger. 

After dinner we went back into port to pass the evening and then had a few rounds of UNO back on deck before heading to bed. Overnight we relocated from Santa Cruz to Isabella, an island that is meant to have one of the highest densities of animals on it, so we were excited about our visit the next day.

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