(If you recognize where the title came from, double parents-of-toddlers points to you.)
The long explore. We did a taxi tour this last weekend as a fun little send-off for my brother-in-law, David, who has been staying with us since we moved here and helped tons with cleaning, moving, and toddler wrangling. The boat tours in Galapagos can get pretty expensive, but this taxi tour was a reasonable price, and it was per-trip, not per-person, so it worked out great. Also, we could schedule the tour for as long or as short as we wanted, at any time we wanted, so it meant we could do it after naps.
The island is a longish oval shape, nothing exciting like Isabela, which is shaped, seriously, just like a sea horse (look it up). You can drive from one side to the other, short-wise. You can stop any taxi on the street, and say, I want to go to the Galapaguera (tortoise breeding center) and they will take you on a tour. It’s actually a three-part tour, starting at a caldera lake, then the breeding center, finished up with a swim at a lovely (though a bit rough) beach. The tour lasted 5 hours, so I’m breaking it up a bit here. The majority of my pictures were from El Junco, the caldera lake. It was amazing to see the island from those views. I loved it.
We took a taxi to the base of the Junco caldera, then walked up to the top.
These windmills were on an adjacent hill, part of the green efforts of the islands.
Here you can see the other end of the island and the ocean just faintly visible.
Panorama of El Junco (be sure to click on the image to see it larger). I’m a little addicted to the Panorama generating feature in Photoshop. So cool.
That’s a Frigate Bird. There were a bunch circling El Junco.
Okay, does this image give anyone else and Anne of Green Gables (or of Avon Lee, don’t remember which) vibe? The whole time we were looking over the opposite coast, I kept thinking of that.
We stood and gazed at the view for a good little bit. Groups of people came and went while we were standing there. Lovely. Breathtaking. You know, the standard descriptions for the sublime.
Isabella kept saying she wanted to go down to where the horses where on the other side of El Junco. She kept calling to them, too, and neighing.
Then we turned around and headed back up.
And then back down.
The view looking down from El Junco.
Both of the girls were tired by the time we headed back. But this was only the first third of our tour.
The next stop on our tour was the Galapaguera, which is a turtle breeding center (quick fact: galapagos is the Spanish word for the giant tortoises with saddle-back shells, so that’s how the islands got their name).
We saw only three of the really big tortoises for the whole walk. This fact was made up for by the interesting scenery and of course the dozens of little baby giant tortoises that we got to see.
Our third and final stop was Puerto Chino. It was a beautiful white beach bordered on both sides with black volcanic rock and lush greenery.
And beautiful white sand.
Teeny tiny crab. Even crustaceans are cute when they’re super small.
It ended up being a very full, fun day. What an adventure! Hopefully there will be many more to come.