Sunday, March 27, 2011

A tour of Santa Cruz Island and trip to Floreana Island

Santa Cruz, Galapagos---It read like a tumultuous, seedy, romance novel; the Baroness and her two love partners, a crazy nudist doctor, a family trying to survive on a nearly deserted island, rumors, mystery… yet we were only reading my travel guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos produced by Moon publishing, on a tour to the island Floreana.
Black moss from the trees look a lot like Jake's beard
Thinking the boat I had crewed on was going to be leaving for Tahiti and I would spend a week alone in the Galapagos, I arranged five tours of Santa Cruz and the islands surrounding it.

But since the my friends didn't leave, I decided to see the Highlands of Santa Cruz with them. And here I saw my first enormous Galapagos tortoise, two twin sink holes and a Lava tunnel cave. All amazing.

A sink hole

Land Turtles cooling off

Entrance to the Lava Tunnel

Then, Shannon from the crew and I took off to Floreana, a two hour speeding boat ride away. With our time we thought we'd read about what we were going to see and came across the information about some early settlers, who shocked us both by the sorted information in the book.
 However, once we were there, NOTHING was said of this, I guess it's not the image the tourist department wants to send. Instead we saw more huge turtles, hiked through a cactus forest, ate some authentic food and snorkeled in the roughest seas I'd ever been in. Again like the Caribbean, no American firm would dare let tourists off their boat in these conditions or at least not without signing a long legal waiver. Here, caution is thrown to the wind, or the seas and all they told us was don't hit the rocks protruding up from the bay near the breaking waves we were to snorkel. So, off we went to see the floor of the ocean stirring wildly but I counted at least five huge sea turtles swimming around below us. It was wonderful.

Later in town, Shannon found a book written by one of these settlers; Floreana by Margret Wittmer. We both bought a copy. Maybe the mysteries will be answered. Maybe not. I know these islands hold more secrets than just those that started happening in 1932.

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