We're finally going round the world! travel blog

Blue footed boobies dive-bombing the water to catch fish (puerto Ayora, Santa...

There's the splash!

The main town on Isabela!!

The sign about the wetlands at the beginning of our walk

A frigate bird flying with his red throat partially inflated (they inflate...

 

 

A special Galapagos pintail duck

All the sites we visited on our way to the Wall of...

We shared little 'Playita' with a few sunbathing marine iguanas

Playa del Amor...

... a lovers' beach for marine iguanas! (it's one of their mating...

Tunel de Estero (a lava tunnel with tiny crabs living in it)

 

A blue heron fishing at Poza Escondida

A big jurassic-looking marine iguana, guarding his mangroves at El Estero

 

 

 

 

These yellow butterflies were having conferences while we were walking

Being attacked by butterflies!!

The Cerro Orchilla viewpoint and day taking a nap!

 

A colourful lizard

Muro de las Lógrimas (Wall of Tears - prisoners built this with...

 

 

 

 

That hill there is the Cerro Orchilla view point where we were...

A Galapagos Mocking Bird

A very pretty lizard

That's Tara (the tiny spec in the centre) against the big wall

 

Poza Escondido where over the years you can see the different layers...

 

A yellow Warbler Finch - specially evolved to suit its environment

A lava lizard

Da's walking sandals have to throw in the towel after 6 months...

 

A small puffer fish that likes nibbling Tara's toes

 

On our way out to see Lava Tunnels in the sea, we...

If you look closely you could see a brown pelican, blue footed...

 

 

 

The lava tunnels in the sea - one of the most beautiful...

 

In the perfectly clear water, there were many species of fish

These tunnels also exist under water and giant turtles, eagle rays etc...

 

 

 

 

Darius and our Swiss friend Daniel

 

 

 

 

 

A spotted eagle ray swimming just below us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A giant turtle! (sorry the angle was great for the picture)

 

We snorkled with him

 

Silver elegantly pulling herself on the boat after we snorkled with about...

A sea lion came to say hello when we got back to...

The beautiful flamingos that live in town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An endemic tortoise from Isabella

 

 

 

Da being a merman

 

The pretty post office

Just in case anyone doubted that Da dives!! (and a passing sea...

A funny-looking starfish, and one of many shoals of fish (partly obscured...

These pelicans came next to our dive boat because they thought we...

 

A Nazca Boobie fishing

 

 

He's a bit tired

 

 

Isla Tortuga where we went diving with Hammerhead Sharks and Giant Turtles

 

These Cacti are centuries old, they only grow a few millimetres a...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful sunset with Isabella's most western volcano

The volcano on the right with the clouds is Sierra Negra and...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost everyone in town attended this celebration for women

Two young girls giving a hip hop dance presentations and a little...

We met our divemaster at the celebration and he seemed to be...

Our 6am boat ride back to Santa Cruz


Puerto Villamil, on Isabela, is very different to Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno: it's much smaller, and the streets are mostly covered with sand. A very long white sand beach stretches out of the town to one side towards the wetlands, and we stayed in a hostel near there for our first couple of nights. The town is very relaxed and peaceful, with few tourists (not many of the boats come out this way) and lots of large marine iguanas along the coast (they're larger on Isabela because of the abundance of food for them here). It's mating season at the moment, so there's lots of nodding, head-butting and nest building at their nesting sites, which are fascinating! We walked up through the wetlands, where there are nine trails to the beautiful beaches, lagoons, mangroves and tunnels there, to a lookout with a stunning view (and very welcome breeze!), and then to the 'wall of tears', one of the few sites that remind you of the sad human history of the islands. A particularly cruel penal colony was located here after the war, and building the wall with their bare hands was one of many pointless tasks that the prisoners completed. We also enjoyed going out the other side of the town, near the docks, to Concha Perla, a shallow inlet of the sea, where the sea lions played and the marine iguanas and lava herons sunned themselves. We made two amazing trips from Isabela. The first was to Los Tunels, with friends that we'd made there. On the way, we saw sea lions playing, and lots of snoozing turtles in the open sea. The tunnels are really hard to describe, and the photos only do them partial justice. The black volcanic rock forms arches and columns in a kind of other-worldly labyrinth, reflected in the crystal clear turquoise water where rays and huge turtles glide past amongst the fish. It's stunning. On the way back from there, we stopped at a bay to snorkel with the turtles: and there were LOTS of them, some very big, and some seemed curious about us and swum around us a few times before going on their way. Our second trip was to dive at Isla Tortuga. We were a bit nervous about the currents, and they were certainly a new experience(!), but diving with the sea lions and turtles, and seeing hammerhead sharks(!!!) as well as all the fishes definitely made it worthwhile! Our final day on Isabela was 'women's day' in Ecuador, so after watching the beautiful sunset on the beach, we joined all the locals at the basketball court (basketball is a big thing here) to watch live music and dance. We met our dive master there, and the guy who'd driven the boat for our dive (it was his birthday!), and made new friends, so a few hours before our 6am ferry back to Santa Cruz we were in Isabela's only (but very good) nightclub :)



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