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Day 151 - Galapagos Islands - Isla Floreana

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 29 October 2014 | Views [307]

We finally cruised into the calmer waters off Isla Floreana around 4am. Despite pretty much not sleeping throughout the night I was up by 5am sitting on deck, sipping coffee watching the misty rain (guarua) come down. As the sun came up there was the most spectacular rainbow over the coast - a real reward for being an early riser! 

After breakfast we headed to Post Office Bay learning more about the human history of the Island and also visiting one of the biggest lava tubes in the Galapagos. Floreana Island, now completely uninhabited by humans was first occupied by an Irish bloke, Patrick Watson, used as a prison by the Spanish and was once home to a Norwegian Tuna canning plant. 

Devoid of any proper infrastructure or services on the island, locals initially used a giant tortoise shell as a makeshift post box through which ships passing by would collect and deliver goods. While not necessarily the most timely method of communication it was a free, reliable and effective exchange. While the tortoise shell post box has been removed, today there is a giant wine barrel post box in the same place, into which visitors are encouraged to deposit a postcard or letter to be collected and delivered by someone else travelling to that part of the world. If you make a deposit or visit the island you are asked to take a card or two to deliver to your home country or to your next destination. It doesn’t matter when the messages arrive, it’s all part of the exchange! I left a couple of postcards and took a few - one to be dropped off in Lima and the other I need to get to Sydney eventually. Hopefully mine one day reach their destinations and those cards I have reach their intended recipients. 

After our little excursion to Post Office bay we hit the freezing cold waters further up the coast of Floreana for our final snorkelling excursion. It was probably the best snorkelling spot we had been to on the trip in terms of visibility and marine life. We had the odd sea lion join us, giant schools of all sorts of fish and some sizeable marine turtles too - it was just so freaking cold! 

Feeling much warmer and drier, after lunch we ventured to the lake at Punta Champion to try and spot a few pink flamingos. Unfortunately while we could make out a few of them on the far side of the lake we were unable to get much of a closer look. Strolling across to the other side of the island we settled in at yet another spectacular beach, this one also occupied mostly by sea lion pups but is also the biggest turtle breeding site in the Galapagos. 

Back on deck we started the long and rough journey back to Isla Santa Cruz where we would be docking at Puerto Ayora for the final night of our Galapagos journey. To pass the time and the afternoon we had salsa classes (of sorts) on the top deck, swaying more to the motion of the waves than the music. It was  a good laugh all in all and a nice way to cap off a great trip.

After dinner we all ventured onto land for an hour to stretch our legs and indulge in some coconut ice-cream. All of us still felt as though we were on the boat so I am not sure it helped all that much. The mission was worth it for the ice-cream anyway! We headed to our cabins, packed and retired to bed, ready to farewell the boat & the Islands bright and early.







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