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Day 6 - Santa Cruz - second day
Hiking Galapagos - A Walk through time

View from the Basilica - Quito day 1View from the Basilica - Quito day 1 (Tamra Ortega)
Did I mention yet that there are two seasons in the Galapagos? The rainy season, where it rains 3 or 4 times a day, but the skies are clear and the Dry season, where it doesn’t rain (it mists in the highlands) and the sky is cloudy all the time.

Well today we were hiking to El Puntudo, a volcano that is in “Media Luna”. The trail first goes to the agricultural zone near the National Park Boundary, the Miconia zone and then leads to the Fern and Sedge zones. These are very distinct, especially in the rain, as the mud gets slicker! Several of our companions chose not to go today for various reasons and missed a real adventure. We were able to see Lava mounds, Lava that has formed a dome and the dome has been opened. The last 300 yards of the climb is straight up, and Tami was the only female to venture and complete this climb. I was right behind her, at least part of the way, then I slipped and recreated part of the scene from “Romancing the Stone”...the scene with the mud slide....I was flying for about 40 yards. But, eventually stopped and climbed back up to the top.

It’s funny how people react to certain situations. On the way up we were all watching our steps, trying to keep out of the puddles and not get our shoes too wet. While on the way down, we just sloshed through it all and didn’t worry about how wet our shoes got (or our shorts).

We got back to the bus and had a box lunch. Sandwiches. Now I should explain Ecuadorian sandwiches, being an American we are used to excess in food servings. Well The Ecuadorian version of a sandwich is the Big Bread (although not as big as the former mentioned Hamburger Bun), with a single slice of cheese and a slice of, in this case ham. Sliced so thin that if it were a garment, it would be the “cloak of invisibility”, or look like it. But what the hey, after already tripling my weight so far, I could use a snack.

We then made our way to a Tortoise Preserve which was not really a preserve, but more of an area that free tortoises can come on their own and live without human intervention.

There were quite a few large tortoises there and we also got to see a frisky male. But he couldn’t seem to find the position. We also got to try on LARGE tortoise shells, I don’t know how they move with this RV on their back, they are huge…

We then visited some lava caves. These were caves carved out by the lava when the volcanoes were active.

For dinner Felipe had recommended a restaurant called Angermeyer Point. A nice restaurant out on the point of the town Puerto Aroya. So we needed to take a water Taxi.

Well that was the first of a comedy of errors that ended up right. We went to the wrong dock, but were able to talk a boatman (not a water taxi) into taking us to the restaurant.

Well he dropped us off, and the hostess approached us and said they were actually closed.

They were having a small dinner party for some cruise ship guests who were being cooked for by their chef. So she asked if we could come back tomorrow, but as we were leaving the next morning we could not. So we asked her if she could call us a water taxi so that we could return. She left and came back a few minutes later and said the chef had agreed to cook just for us!! So we got to sit right on the point (the picture shows a green umbrella) and had a great meal of Lobster Thermidor, crab salad and this sampler desert that was scrumptious!! They had to call a barge to get us back to the mainland, the water taxis were too small…

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