Galapagos tortoises and delicate flowers

The one morning we could sleep in without having to rush to catch a taxi or boat and I wake up at 6am. I think it had something to do with the sunlight coming through the window just above my head. I managed to sleep a little longer though, determined not to get up. I’m on holiday damn it.

We went for breakfast at one of the restaurants opposite the park, then went back to the hotel to check out at 10. The main plan for the day was to see the Galapagos tortoises at the nearby breeding centre. If we felt energetic, then we’d go to The Wall, a 5km walk out of town.

Unfortunately the weather was really humid and oppressive and the walk to the breeding centre did us in. There were so many tortoises at the breeding centre, all different ages and sizes. Hundreds of them all just plodding around. It was humbling to think that we would never see the baby tortoises reach their full size because we’d be well and truly dead by then.

There were a few of them mating, the males squashing the females and making a grunting/hissing sound. Within two years of the breeding centre opening, they had 200 hatchlings. And they’re still going strong. Once big enough, they’re released into the wild in southern Isabela.

We walked back to town, deciding to give The Wall and its subsequent walking trails a miss. We were a bit early for lunch but stopped in a cafe for a drink. The restaurant faces the wrong way so there was no wind whatsoever to cool us down. Sweat dripped down my back and into my butt crack.

We then sat in the foyer of the hotel for a while, me nearly nodding off, before going back to the restaurant and having a set lunch that was ok, not great, and sweating some more.

With a couple of hours to kill until the boat departed for Santa Cruz, we returned to our first hotel, Coral Blanco, and availed ourselves of their outdoor chill out area. Glen read a book while I lay down with my hat coving my face and nearly nodding off.

I felt a rustling on my hat (which covered my face) but at the same time Glen moved and I thought it was him. I tried to nod off again. About fifteen minutes later, the same rustling happened. I removed the hat and looked up to see a small iguana scurrying off the side of the chair I was lying on. So, now I can say I’ve had an iguana run across my face. Twice. Sounds perverted, doesn’t it?

A couple of other people were also lying down and an iguana ran over one of the guy’s legs. I laughed.

2:30 rolled around and we got in the taxis to be taken to the dock for our boat ride back to Santa Cruz. Glen and I had each taken Buscopan in preparation for what was going to be a rough ride.

This time we were near the back of the boat so we had more fresh air and a slightly less bumpy ride. It was still bumpy but the Buscopan must have done its job because I didn’t feel nearly as ill this time. The ride took two and a half hours, longer than on the way over. I just wanted it to end.

Arriving back in Santa Cruz, we got off the boat and went looking for accommodation. Glen’s legs were chaffing from his wet clothes. I smelled of sweat and salt. Our luggage was starting to go moldy. We just wanted comfort. The delicate flowers went in search of nice (and overpriced) accommodation.

The first place was full, the second place was ridiculous (close to $2000 for three nights) and the third place was not as expensive and available. We could have gone cheaper but Glen didn’t want to walk anymore. We’d saved on not going on a cruise so we are still within budget. I feel a bit guilty about the expense, and also that I don’t seem to be able to rough it.

After we’d scraped off the grime and handed clothes in to be washed, we went for dinner at one of the tourist traps. Back at the hotel, I sat outside overlooking the bay. There’s a full moon tonight and it’s so stunning shining above the water. Looking at it, I felt really at peace, something I’ve needed after today’s choppiness.

What do you say, eh?

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