Ecuador 2011: Day 6
San Cristobal –> Floreana –> Isabela
Early morning was time to check out of the hotel on San Cristobal and move on. Before leaving San Cristobal we first had to load up our bags and have them inspected on the docks; each time people move from island to island the bags are checked to ensure that no species are being migrated or materials are being in transported illegally. Next stop: Isla Floreana. The boat journey took a couple of hours which was spent by some sleeping, some talking or reading, and some becoming seasick (fortunately I was not one of the latter).
Asilo de la Paz (Asylum of Peace)
On Floreana we load up and take a truck to the highlands for a hike into the preserve. There is another protected area for giant tortoises and we stop for a few minutes to admire and take the obligatory photos. After a beautiful walk we get to tour the land and original settlement area for the first families on the island. There are walkways, steps, rough-hewn rooms, and even notches for cattle gates carved directly into the volcanic rock. A large tribal head sculpture greeted us as we headed back downhill. After a relaxed lunch, its back to the boat and onward to the island of Isabela.
On Isabela we take a short swim and snorkel break, but there is a storm coming making the water too murky for decent visibility so we head on to the hotel and a gorgeous sunset over the nearby lagoon.
Late in the evening we walk down the pier to a quaint local bar to cheer John Crow’s birthday (a little early) and discover one of the most awesome bathroom fixtures anywhere: marine iguanas! There are 9 small- to medium-sized iguanas just hanging out on the wall of the bathroom and above the mirror sleeping – definitely distinctive and cute. I want some for my bathroom!