Thursday October 27th 2011
Our last day in Galapagos!!! To anyone going, one week is definitely NOT enough! There are so many islands, so many things to do and to see! We actually regretted not staying on Isabela an extra day, the diving would have been better (smaller group) and well we would have been able to see more! Next time!
TheGalapagos islandswere created by volcanic eruptions and have been preserved by limiting tourists because at some point there were 230 000 people going a year, now this number has dropped to 150 000. Also, the boats and cruise ships, travel agencies and little businesses are only owned by the people from the Galapagos. This excludes also Ecuadorians and anyone else. The only way someone from another country or fromEcuadorcan own land or a business or anything in Galapagos is if they are married to a Galapeño. This is what makes the islands different thanHawaii; technically,Hawaiiis older: double the age of the oldest island in the Galapagos (Espanola has 5 million years).
So we started the day by going to Las Grietas, which is an accumulation of water in a tectonic crack. The water is semi-salty and crystal clear. Unfortunately there were a lot of wasps, and I got stung. Argh. But we stayed there about two hours talking with a girl fromBelgiumwe had met diving and when everyone left, we went in the water. It was really nice! On our way back we stopped at this beach calledFinchBayor Playa de los Alemanes. This was a little ironic because I was traveling with Cosima, who is German, but whose last name is Finkbeiner, and fink means finch ahahaha. Definitely her beach!
In the afternoon we met our friend Renny and went to a few different sites that we had not yet visited. One is called los Gemelos which are two crater collapses. It is pretty impressive and big. The trees that grow there are very weak and fall when it rains, creating organic soil and then more trees grow over it.
The Scalecia forest that grows nearby is the only endemic one on the island, it usually grows in the 400-500m altitude zone and plays an important role in the ecosystem because it traps and collects rainwater, and it provides a substrate for many plants. It is also the habitat for 8 different types ofDarwinfinches as well as the vermilion flycatcher.
Afterwards we visited a farm, where there are many tortoises that you can see in their natural habitat. Interesting facts: the female does not enjoy sex. She has 3 holes beneath her tail one for pee, one for poop and the other for the shabaang! Ahahaha. Tortoises have very sensitive skin, prone to bacteria so they take these mud baths and afterwards they call for the finches to come and eat the bacteria off their skin! And they can weight about 250 kilos! Suuuuper heavy!
Our last stop was at the tunnels, which were created by lava. They are underground and really big at first and at the end you crawl on your stomach because they get so small.
Renny asked us this question: why do pirates wear a patch on one eye? Some would say that it is for protection, other because it is easier to look into the binocular. However, it was for when they went into the dark below deck or in tunnels the eye under the patch was already used to the dark and so the pirate would switch the patch sides and be able to see perfectly. That way if there was any danger or enemies they would see!
That night we cooked for Renny. I made some shrimp pasta (yuuummm!) and afterwards we went out until about 1am at a bar/disco. It was a great week, but next time I will take a cruise to see the islands you cannot access otherwise and to see more animals!