We are staying at the Verde Azul hotel in Puerto Ayora. Very friendly family owned hotel. Hot water – yeah!, refillable drinking water, wifi – spotty, a small pool and breakfast included with specific food for our dietary needs.
We have an hour to settle before we are being picked up for our first tour – we only arrived this afternoon – it is going to be a very long day.
Daniel is our guide and she is incredibly helpful. It also turns out to be a private tour with our same taxi driver.
Our first stop is Los Gemelos, home of two craters. Here we see endemic species of trees and the problem of throwing your orange seed or apple cores down to the ground – even if they are organic.
The Galapagos has been making massive strides in bringing its islands back to how they were at the beginning – meaning before non natives settled and brought non indigenous animals and plants to the islands. This has included the eradication of plants and animals that were introduced to the islands. It has greatly helped the populations of land iguanas and tortoises along with specific trees and cactuses.
It was a very interesting walk, talk and history lesson.
From here we went to a private farm where wild tortoises roam – actually all the animals of the Galapagos are wild as it is against the law to own, touch, feed or impede the animals in anyway. This farm is a favourite place for the tortoises, so the viewing of these gentle giants has become a business for them. No admission is charged but they offer a simple restaurant and souvenir store. We decide to eat here do to lack of food from travelling. It is late.
After dinner we went to see ancient underground lava tunnels. Here we actually could see how the lava was running and cooled. Lots of climbing for Magpie. At one point you had to get down on your knees to get through – luckily only a couple of feet.
It was raining and dark when we came out and it was the end of our tour. Daniel want to make sure we were all set and took us to the supermarket to find snacks. We bought what we needed and headed back to our hotel.
When we arrived back another representative from Galapagos Alternative – Rita – was waiting for us. Rita’s job is to check with us every night to make sure we are happy and prep us for the next day.
A great, long day but we have to get up early tomorrow……..