Thursday, February 25, 2010
Our final day in the Galapagos Islands
We left the hotel at 5:30 am this morning and were transfered to the dock. Once there, our luggage was searched. The authorities are very strict about people taking samples of the rocks, corral, shells, etc. from the island. It is strictly forbidden as it is in most National Parks.The "fast" boat was a launch with twin four stroke outboard motors which sat about 15 people. It made the crossing between Isla Isabela and Santa Cruz in just over two hours. We passed the Sulidae about three quarters of the way. The Sulidae estimated their travel time at 12 hours. The current in this crossing moves at 50 cm. per second westward while we were traveling eastward. I think the fast boat was able to get higher in the water so the current effected it much less.
Once in Puerta Ayora, we went to a hotel to check in and had a quick breakfast in town. Doug and I then went back to the hotel for some rest time. As you can see, this was a quality hotel. The sink here is supported by cardboard and masking tape. The flusher on the toilet was dangling out of its socket. We did however have hot water, as long as you waited for it. There were also some bugs that gave off a gastly smell if you bothered them. We pretty much just shooed them away and weren't bothered by them throughout the day or night.
In the morning we got dressed and headed into the lobby for breakfast. I was wearing a new pair of shorts and as I walked down to the lobby, I felt this prick inside. I thought, darn, I didn't take the tag off. But in a very short time, I realized this prick was moving (pun intented?)! I dashed back to our room and stripped. Sure enough one of those lovely beetles had taken up residence in my shorts sometime during the night!
Doug was able to watch the latter part of the Super Bowl while I slept. Later we watched some of the US Figure Skating Championships.
Later we met Georg and his family for lunch. Georg was anxious to try the Ecuadorian ceviche. It was quite different in Ecuador. It was served as a cold soup with cooked fish and seafood and the usual onions, but also tomatoes. The Peruvian ceviche cures raw seafood in lime juice and is served with onions and kernels of corn.
After lunch, Georg and
Doug went back to the Sulidae to retrieve the snorkeling equipment we had rented and the case of beer we had brought on board. While they were there, I went window shopping by myself. I enjoyed having the time and freedom to look at souvenirs and artwork at my leisure. When I am with Doug, I know he hates shopping and so feel pressured to move right along.
The next morning we took a flight from Baltra to Guayaquil. As soon as we got into the airport, we called the shipping company in Lima to find out the status of our container. She told us it had arrived and we should meet her in Paita on Monday morning to begin the process of taking it through customs. This gave us a bit of breathing room time-wise, so we hopped on a bus and arrived in Mancora early the next morning.