Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yea...More Tortoises...Save the Tortoises!

Carlitos was our guide today across San Cristobal.  The first of five stops was the small village of El Progreso.  Here we climbed into the largest in diameter ceiba (kapok) tree.  If you wanted, you could even pay to sleep overnight in the loft bed.  I crawled down into the tree to see old, old photos of the area in the hey day of sugar that was sent to the USA and Panama.  22,000 beer bottles were used to build the nearby cafe.  There was not much left of the sugar villa.

El Junco Lagoon was 700 meters up a stair-stepped trail.  It is one of the few sources of fresh water on the island.  Frigate birds and finches fly all around.

In the distance on the right are three wind turbines that Carlitos said provided 50% of the island's electricity.

Galapaguera was the tortoise stop.  First we saw adults then we saw the one month olds, the year olds, the three year olds, the five year olds. The tortoises are then released into their natural habitat.  Finally we saw the nesting sites where 10 eggs are laid, of which only four usually survive.

Don't you just love the tortoises?  Here we are walking another 700 meters along a boardwalk to Puerto Chino, a small beach with one sea lion, waves for beginning surfers, and four other people.  It is dry and hot and the water feels wonderful.

Our last stop by choice and recommendation was the Etoy Restaurant which has an amazing daily view of the garden and the ocean.  The row of red in the background are poinsettia trees.  The Galapagos Islands can be most enchanting.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal Galapagos

Having changed our flight back to Quito from Baltra Island to San Cristobal Island with no penalty and gaining an extra day, we bought a ferry ticket to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, its only town.  Casa Blanca became our home for seeing the area.

The artist owner, Jaqueline Vazquez, designed and decorated everything.  Our first room had amazing sea life paintings inside, even the ceiling.

Our second room had sea views inside and outside.

Walking up and down the malecon, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a pleasant little village.  Those stone steps are tricky.

Each morning we had our breakfast provided by Casa Blanca's restaurant.

A fountain shows the 13 islands of the Galapagos.

A white crowned night heron and a green heron visit the fountain.

Finches favored the flowers of the big opuntia cactus. 

Sea lions make themselves comfortable anywhere.

The sea lions are the real show of the malecon.  Someone told us they had only started appearing at the malecon six years ago.  I will revisit them in another post.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Vamos a Las Grietas on Santa Cruz Island

The ferry was a fast two hours back to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island from Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island.  Usually it is not a good idea to do something on a Sunday because everyone else is doing it, too.  That turned out to be the case on our walk to Las Grietas, but it was interesting anyway.  First you have to take a yellow water taxi to that side of the harbor.

As we walked we passed lava walls hiding very upscale houses, hotels, and restaurants, Punta Estrada Beach, structures with strange tire windows, salt flats, and a stream.

700 meters later you reach a water-filled crevice in the rocks where everyone is swimming or snorkeling.  It is beautiful but crowded.  Another day perhaps?

These boys are egging each other on to jump, and finally someone has the courage to go first.