WARNING: Photo intensive blog ahead!
So we made it to the Galapagos - we've checked into our hotel - we've unpacked our "found" luggage - we've had lunch - we've got the air conditioner running full blast.
Byron had instructed us to meet him out in front of the hotel at 2:30 and we did. Our original itinerary had been to visit the lava tunnels and see the tortoises in their natural environment up in the highlands. But when the bus drove through the highlands where this excursion would have been done, it was skipped. Instead we ended up doing what would have been:
Visit the Cracks. Visit Charles Darwin Station This tour will have the opportunity to live an unforgettable being near the giant tortoises and photographing experience. They will be observed from small and young Galapagos.Now this wouldn't have been a bad thing, but we had been traveling all day, we were extremely hot and drinking water by the gallons to offset the loss and we find ourself walking to the far end of town (with Byron not even aware when we fell behind - see the first photo) and spending several hours walking through the Charles Darwin preserve. We saw marine iguanas and land iguanas - both live only in the Galapagos. And yes, the marine iguanas swim in the ocean. We saw tortoises of all ages, living in safety. We saw tortoises of several kinds - the funny long necked one isn't deformed. That's the way his breed is designed by nature. It was wonderful, except for the walking. Stu had worn sandals that weren't meant for a lot of walking and I only had a ball cap (think, burned ears). But we took a LOT of photos. Here is a sample (click to see larger images).
On our way back to the hotel, yes - MORE walking, I stopped and got a hat. Pricey at $25 but something I will use on our cruises every year, so a good buy.
We were all so exhausted that when Byron told us about a 60+ minute walk to the white sands to the beach...we all opted out. This excursion would have been fine if done when scheduled:
Visit to Tortuga Bay beach, nesting site for turtles and marine iguanas. To access this paradise beach of white sand surrounded by mangrove will walk 45 minutes on a paved trail, where we can see cactus finches and lava lizards. Lunch.So we all spent day two exploring the town by foot. When we headed out, George said they'd all meet us at Buganvilla Coffee Bar (no, not a misspelling) at 12:30. We got there around noon, waited 45 minutes and opted for lunch at the Red Mangrove. We had checked food prices around town - EXPENSIVE plus a 22% tax. Eeep!
We had a great lunch at Red Mangrove Resort and hope to plan a future trip with them, one that would include Stu going scuba diving. We enjoyed meeting the gal in charge who turned out to be from Cuenca. She had to point out that the sea lions had taken over one corner of decking.
CONTINUED.....Excursions - part two