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Mountain Biking on Isabela

We flew out of San Cristobal this morning on a little "puddle jumper".  They rearranged our luggage between the planes to match the correct weight restrictions. We had packed light for this trip and looking back this was all I needed for clothing:  swimsuit, rashguard, shorts, 2 tank tops, versatile travel skirt/dress, lightweight travel pants, lightweight button-up travel shirt, fleece hoodie, sneakers with ankle support for hiking, and my keen sandals for the beach. In one backpack - Done!  We were able to fit our luggage into any plane, boat, or vehicle on our trip.  And it cut our morning prep time in half - Do I want to wear option A or option B or . . . wait that's it. 
Our plane to Isabela
Our plane to Isabela (Lynessa Nelson)

We checked in at the Iguana Crossing hotel Tomas let us know that our plans for the day had been flip-flopped.  Since they expected rain this afternoon we were going to mountain bike to first and then snorkel in the afternoon.  It does matter if rains while snorkeling because you're already wet of course!  So we put on our gear, got fitted for bikes and headed off through town and along the beach. 
Guided bike tour around the Galapagos
Guided bike tour around the Galapagos (Lynessa Nelson)

There were a few places along the way that we had to stop and walk our bikes.
Biking on the beach on Isabela
Biking on the beach on Isabela (Lynessa Nelson)

We also stopped a few times to walk along the nature trails and view the iguanas.  DON'T TOUCH!  
Don't touch the animals!
Don't touch the animals! (Lynessa Nelson)

And other times the galapagos wildlife would come to us!  Along the ride we saw several giant tortoises moseying through the path.
yielding for tortoise on the bike path
yielding for tortoise on the bike path (Lynessa Nelson)

As we road closer to the Wall of Tears the road ran out of the trees and into the sunshine.  It began to ascend at a steeper angle as well so that we shifted into lower and lower gears.  By the time we arrived at the top it was midday with the sun beating down and my shirt was drenched in sweat.  I was thankful to have a daypack with a couple liters of water that Tomas had suggested bringing.  The view from the Wall allowed us to look out over the coast and see what the prisoners would have seen as they carried the heavy stones to build the wall.  Such a surreal moment as we reflected on this and our watched our travel partners doing yoga for photos on the wall.
Yoga on the Wall of Tears
Yoga on the Wall of Tears (Lynessa Nelson)

It took a bit to get up the hill that morning but the way back was a breeze, coasting down the trail.  The one hitch came when half the group got flat tires from running over thorns on the side of the road.  Tomas warned us before we started but still ended up with six flat tires that they worked quickly to fix.  By the time we arrived back at the hotel I was ready for a shower and a quick nap.  When we woke it was grey and overcast for our afternoon snorkel.  After we took about an hour to swim around the bay, we sat for bit on the volcanic rock and watched the sally lightfoot crabs run and jump along the rocks.  It was a very peaceful experience to end the day.
Snorkeling on Isabela
Snorkeling on Isabela (Lynessa Nelson)

sally lightfoot crabs
sally lightfoot crabs (Lynessa Nelson)

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