Galapagos Day 2
Sleeping on the boat is proving to be interesting. We travel at night, generally pulling up the anchor at 1 am and dropping it at 4 am or so. As we are in a cabin at the front of the boat we hear every link (every single one….) go rattling down the side of the boat 🙂 On day two we landed at Puerto Egas beach on the west side of Santiago island. Santiago Island was one of Darwin’s stops and Puerto Egas is named after Dario Egas who owned a salt mine on the island which was at that time the only producer of salt in the country. For our first hike on the Islands we walked inland across the island to a beach covered with fur seals, sea lions, and marine iguana.
The beach was a long flat lava rock type landscape with tidal pools. The oldest lava flows on the island date back to 750,000 years ago, so in geological terms it is quite young. During the walk to the beach we saw lava lizards, Galapagos doves, and finches – mainly ground finches. A evolutionary text come to life for me. In the late morning we snorkelled with the sea turtles off the island. I got some photos with my underwater camera – which unfortunately was to meet a premature demise in its next outing.
In the afternoon we travelled to Rabida island – a small island south of Santiago- for an inland walk and a snorkel. This is a tiny island that was one of my favorite stops on our trip. Amazing red colour every where – wonderful cacti and cactus finches! Once I had figured out how to get out of the boat without my snorkel filling with water we were off – cameras in hand. Taking shots of Marine iguanas feeding on kelp covered rocks, fish, sharks plus the obligatory selfie marked the final outing of my underwater camera – which promptly died once we were back on the boat.
The day hike on Rabida which followed was excellent. We have a top notch naturalist and guide – Fabian Bucheli – whose descriptions of the ecosystems and history of the Galapagos is second to none. A pair of Galapagos doves landed nearby at one point as if to listen to Fabian weave his stories – magic.
The food on the boat is excellent, a fusion of cuisines from all over the world, light on fat and carbs, high on lean protein and vegetables – thumbs up! After dinner and time spent socializing in the bar area on the top deck we all headed to bed in anticipation of another wonderful day starting with an early wake up call.