Saturday, June 23, 2012

San Cristobol/ Santa Cruz

JUNE 20th
DAY 14

Today we woke up at 5:45 to go for a morning canoe ride, but it was raining so we couldn’t take the canoes out. Instead some of us did yoga on the porch before breakfast at 7. After breakfast we left around 8 to head back to Quito. The boat ride lasted until 3 this time, which was about 7 hours even though the ride to the lodge a few days earlier was only 5 hours! Our flight was at 5 and we made it back to Quito around 5:30. We got back to the hostel then ate dinner and updated our blogs.

JUNE 21st
DAY 15

Our flight to San Cristobol was at 10ish so we left the hostel around 8. The flight lasted about 3 hours then we were in the Galapagos! After lunch we took a little walking tour of the island and snorkeled in one of the bays. We swam with sea turtles and sea lions!!! The sea lions were very friendly and darted around us. After snorkeling for 40 minutes or so we hopped out and pealed out wet suits off then continued on our island tour to a peaceful beach filled with sea lions napping and swimming. The sunset on the beach was beautiful and the water was crystal clear. We headed back to our hostel and showered then went to dinner where we served massive portions because the chef knew that Americans put the food away!

JUNE 22nd
DAY 16

Today we had a snorkeling trip to 2 different spots off of San Cristobol. We had breakfast downstairs at 8 then headed to the pier where the boat was waiting for us. First we stopped at Darwin Bay to look at the blue-footed boobies then we headed to our first snorkel stop, Kicker Rock. We got all of our snorkeling gear and wet suits of then hopped in and started swimming around the giant rock protruding from the middle of the ocean. There was a channel between the main rock and a slightly smaller rock and we swam through and saw tons of sharks swimming below us!!! We also swam with sea turtles and sea lions. I got so close to the turtle I could have grabbed on for a ride! After we made it around the rock we hopped back in the boat and made our way to a little beach to park the boat and eat lunch (in the Galapagos its against the rules to eat on the beach so we ate on the boat). When we finished we took a 10 minutes boat ride to our next snorkeling spot. I was still cold from the first snorkel and reluctantly put the wet wetsuit back on. I slid into the chilly water but warmed up a little as I started swimming. The water was shallower here so the water was brighter and warmer. There was a huge school of these little shiny fish and pelicans kept dive-bombing on them! The birds dove so close to me I thought they might hit me! We saw more turtles and a baby sea lion was confident enough to come up and nibble on our fins!! We made our way back to the boat then headed back to the pier and went to the hostel to shower the sticky salt water out of our tangled hair. The rest of the day we were free to roam about the town and shop some. We met for dinner at 7 and I had some delicious grilled shrimp. Now we are back at the hostel and we leave tomorrow for Santa Cruz around 8am.

JUNE 23rd
DAY 17

This morning we left San Cristobol around 8:30 on a speed boat and took a 2 hour boat ride to Santa Cruz. When we arrived we put our stuff at the hostel (Galapagos Inn) and walked around town until lunch at 1. After lunch we rode up to the highlands and walked down a trail to find a massive sink hole. Then we saw some tortoises and took some pictures inside the giant shells! We came back to the hostel around 6 and had free time until dinner at 7.

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