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3 Days in Paradise

ECUADOR | Monday, 5 March 2007 | Views [3382] | Comments [4]

Isla Isabela is a place here in Galápagos that was recommended to me by many travellers as a nice place to visit, so I booked a 3 day trip to see what it was like. I had high expectations, which were exceeded completely! This has been my favourite place on the adventure so far!

The boat ride there took 2.5 hours, in a small speedboat which flew along the water! I arrived in the afternoon to the small port of Puerto Villamil to meet my fellow travellers - 2 lads from Spain & a couple from Ecuador + our guide. They were all very friendly, and luckily for me our guide spoke english and my spanish has been improving so we could communicate! A safe topic for any spanish speaking person is their favourite football team so thats my opening conversation starter..... phew!

We all stayed in a little hotel called San Vincente in town. There is little to see in the town, but thats where all the hotels, food and water is so its best to make it your base. We started by heading to the local turtle bredding centre where we spent a few hours with many turtles there - most endemic to Galápagos. Then we strolled to a nearby lagoon area where we spent an hour watching bright pink flamingos in their natural surroundings + many birds playing in the water. To finish off the night we had a fabbo dinner of fresh fish caught that day and island fruits - beautiful!

The nest day we headed off at 8am to the biggest Volcano here - Sierra Negra - which rises to an elevation of nearly 1500 meters and is located in the southeast of Isla Isabela. It is the largest and one of most active volcanos in the archipelago, with 10 known eruptions since 1813, the most recent in 1979. Over ninety percent of the surface of the volcano is younger than 4500 yrs, judging from the ages of lava there.

The southern flank of Sierra Negra is the windy side and was cloudy and misty. As a result, it is heavily vegetated. This area is the site of two of the oldest settlements in the Galapagos, the coastal village of Villamil and the town of Santo Tomas, located 20 km inland high on the flank of the volcano.

We drove in a jeep to the base and then rode horses up the Volcano for about 2 hours! It was crazy as we had some rain so there was mud and some of the horses were a little naughty - but my one was very well behaved! At one point he did drag me up against a barb wire fence, but all I have is a few scratches to remember him by!

Once we reached to summit we sat and had lunch on the edge of the volcano - overlooking the entire caldera and looking 1500m down into the lava. Its hard to describe the feeling of being that high up and looking out over the mouth of a volcano.

In the afternoon we hiked for an hour - siting ladbugs, birds, spiders and insects that inhabit the volcano before heading back down by horse again.

Later we snorkelled in the bright blue sea - and I got up close with a big blue shark, tropical fish galore, penguins (so cute!), blue footed boobies (birds), crabs and marine iguanas. It was nearly too much fun!

I was due to leave the next morning , but I was having so much fun that I decided to stay another day & night so I could have more time there. The only thing was that the hotel was fully booked, so I spent my last night camping on the beach! Oh well!

On my extra day I joined a small tour which headed to seek out land turtles in the wild. It was me and an older french couple + our guide trekking through the wilderness, spotting over 20 land turtles eating, sleeping and playing in the wild. Like nothing ive ever seen before.

Later we walked to a monument called "The Wall of Tears" which was built by convicts here between 1946 - 1959. The wall is 80m long, 9m high and 9m wide. From the top, you can view the whole coast, beaches and ships on the horizon. I think we walked about 20kms in the end which was exhausting but definitely worthwhile!

After all that hiking, I spent the afternoon on the beach - just me, the water and about 500 pink swimmer crabs and a few sea lions. I had to keep pinching myself to believe I was actually here! I was very sad to leave this morning at 6am, after meeting some wonderful people and seeing the most amazing places ever!

Tomorrow I jump on a cruiser for an 8 day adventure through most of the other small islands here - bring it on!

Ciao for now,

Lani

Tags: Beaches & sunshine

Comments

1

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou for your stories. I was researching Galapagos and knew all about the boobies but your recollection of your adventure has me on the verge of tears....of happiness.

  Mrs Lidster Mar 6, 2007 9:27 AM

2

wow mate it sounds absoloutely amazing!!
blue footed boobies hahaha
miss u

  megs Mar 7, 2007 11:10 AM

3

as i sit here in boring windella i think of you and all your amazing adventures and it makes me smile and determined to travel more then ever. You should be a travel writer you write amazingly and it was so nice to go to my mail box today and receive a postcard from you it made my week.
p.s i'll definitely look after your mum

  k Mar 9, 2007 10:24 AM

4

Oh.. to be with you on the beach camping on your ownsome or snorkelling with the penguins and B.F, Boobies with you or seeing the turtles (r they the humungo ones?)and volcanos...Its hard to believe u have been gone 2 months but your trip sounds so amazing!
Your adventures r what keeps us going.Love your writings! H.T.T.O.Y.L. Love Mama and the Chiqs xoxo

  Mama de Missing You Lots!! Mar 12, 2007 1:01 PM

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