Existing Member?

The South American Dream A long time coming...

Galapagos...after the cruise

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 27 April 2011 | Views [1778] | Comments [1]

After the cruise we headed back to Purto Ayora, taking a private car instead of the bus, living it up again.  We negotiated with our driver to take us to see the Giant tortoises in the wild and to go to the lava tunnels in the highlands.

The giant tortoises were in a national park, it started raining part way through our exploration but we headed for cover in the trees and came across the tortoises in a stroke of genius (or luck). 

They were so cool, very chilled out and very big! They were happy munching passionfruit as we watched them and took their photos. 

They also had a tortoise shell that you could climb in.  Here I am as a tortoise, I think I make a pretty good one!!

It rained pretty hard in the highlands and we got soaked but headed to the lava tunnel anyway.  The tunnel was formed by molten lava and walking through, more and more rocks appeared in our pathway, some climbing was required but we weren't worried until we got to a point where you had to crawl along the ground...the floor was pretty muddy and we were wet anyway but we decided to venture on anyway.  The boy with us went first, followed by the three girls.  It was quite a squash especially as we had our day bags full of essentials such as books and passports etc with us too!!

On our return to the port we realised some of our bags had got soaked in the back of the truck whilst it had been raining...most of my clothes were wet and my bag weighed a ton because of all the additional water in it.  We got dropped off at a restaurant and I managed to hang some clothes out to dry, we also decided to stay at the same place as before which helped as it was just round the corner. Luckily they had a laundry and the weather was pure sunshine on the coast so my clothes dried pretty quickly. 

The rest of the day we relaxed and looked into other tours...we now had a thirst for exploring the Galapagos and some extra time on the islands.  I was also keen to extend the trip and stay for longer. No other day trips took our fancy though and we decided to explore ourselves instead and check out the possibility of voluntering on the Galapagos.  Sam our guide had given us the name of someone to speak to and said we may be able to volunteer for 10 days.

The following day we went up to the national park headquarters to enquire about the voluntering. They said the minimum time to volunteer was 3 months, which wasn't an option for us.  Since speaking to Sam our guide again, it seems its a case of who you know not what you know which is a shame as it would have been good.  Still, it did mean I could (try and) improve my spanish in school in Montañita instead.

The Charles Darwin centre was our next stop to seek out Lonesome George.  On our arrival we discovered they also look after baby giant tortoises...which are the sweetest things! 

And more...

We also found the bigger female tortoises before treading on some thorn bushes and finding a snake!  We didn't find Lonesome George.  We believe he was hiding in the undergrowth and that he actually liked his space, which is why he doesn't want to mate with anyone! He wants to be lonesome.

After stopping off for a dip in the sea on the way back we enquired about changing our flights but discovered it was going to be too expensive so I hatched an alternative plan to head to Puerto Lopez for a few days on arrival back in mainland Ecuador before I went to start Spanish school in Montañita on the Sunday, a few days later.  This decided we went into action mode as Puerto Ayora has great tourist shops, so it was the perfect place to buy our gifts for people back home.  We had both woken up ill and my stomach was playing up, obviously this wasn't ideal but we soldiered on and selected what we needed. My rucksack was also 2 kg heavier I discovered on the plane back as well!!

I even managed to find some postcards and send the ones I'd been carrying since my first two weeks in Colombia! And a postbox to post the couple I'd written!!

The flight back to mainland Ecuador was good and no delays, we landed in Guayaquil and went straight to the bus station for our next adventure!!

Tags: galapagos islands, giant tortoise, lava tunnel, tortoises




Your post is awesome and full of info

  test Dec 15, 2014 8:18 PM

About moomazza

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Ecuador

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.