Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Galapagos Islands - Day 5

Dave saddling up!

The morning program began with visiting a ranch, saddling up and riding our horses up to the lip of the massive volcano, Volcan Sierra Negra, which is in fact the second largest active volcano in the world (it recently erupted in 2005).  It was David’s first time on a horse, and he was a little bit apprehensive after riding a camel in Morocco, but once he was mounted it was all good and he thoroughly enjoyed the ride despite holding on for his life.  It took about half an hour to ride to the top and we looked around for a while and listened to Chimarro’s explanation before remounting and riding back down.  The descent was a little dangerous as the recent rain had made the path quite muddy and at least everyone’s horse slipped once or twice, but thankfully we all managed to stay in our saddles.

We had a sandwich lunch at the ranch before going back to the boat to collect our snorkelling gear for the afternoon.  The location was a small bay, and the visibility was fairly poor, but Dave and I managed to find the largest sea turtle we saw on the entire trip.  It easily had a shell as large as us, but he also had one fin missing, however this didn’t seem to bother him at all. He was actually positioned so his was ‘sitting’ against a rock with his shell resting perfectly in an upright position while he munched on all the sea grass close to his head.

A brightly coloured Sally Light-foot crab
To our surprise we found another sea lion, this time a medium sized pup, which played with us for a brief minute while before swimming off presumingly to do something more interesting. 

From the bay we walked back to the main beach town where Chimarro promptly told us we had three free hours and left us alone.  There’s actually not too much to do in town so we walked around to the rocky beach and found literally hundreds of iguanas sunning themselves.  We occupied ourselves with watching and photographing them, we were even lucky enough to witness two males having a bit of a tussle, which involves them repeatedly head-butting each other till one gives in and turns tail. 

An iguana enjoying the sun on a lava rock
Back on the boat we had farewell cocktails and a great dinner followed by banana and chocolate flan.  Since we’d all spent the afternoon in the port where there wasn’t much to do we opted for UNO and packing since we had to be up at 5.30am to take our transfer boat to the airport with the Steffo’s.  Our transfer was meant to be included with our tour, but we didn’t have a receipt to prove it, our tour organiser had said that Chimarro would give the necessary receipt, but when we asked him for it he said that there was no need, that he had talked to the guy doing the transfer and they were expecting us so not to worry.  Then he promptly left the boat to spend the night in the port since it is his home town.  Needless to say we weren’t convinced that things were going to go smoothly in the morning.

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