Santa Cruz and Travel to Floreana, Overnight in Cabins
We had a great breakfast out on the deck overlooking the port. We were joined by sea iquanas that were sunning themselves on the deck around us. Grey pelicans swooped and caught fish in front of us. We suddenly heard loud barking and realized a mother seal and her cub were lounging on another part of the deck, while another seal seated himself on the deck furniture.
In the morning, Qwan loaded us in vans to visit the lava craters and tunnels. The tunnel was particularly interesting with the many minerals on the walls.
After that - the big event - the giant tortoises. For Dayton, seeing these was one of the reasons for the trip and Qwan made sure he got a photo of one of the biggest that could be found. It was great to see these gentle giants in their habitat. We learned a lot in that Qwan said that all reptiles continue growing till they die. He showed us how to determine the age and sex of the tortoises.
In the afternoon, we were taken to board a boat to Floreana. The trip over was half the fun, though many people fell asleep! The boat really moves, but for those that need it, the hotel provides motion sickness pills to take before lunch.
We saw blue footed boobies and penguins along the way. The penguins were adorable, small ones and they were practically posed for pictures.
Arriving in the port of Floreana, you realize immediately that this is a remote place. No cell phone reception at all for me. We were taken from the port, which is littered with seals, sea iguanas and grey pelicans, to cabins on the ocean. The cabins were spotless, but basic - with a twin bed and a bunk bed.
We were taken to the black lava beach for snorkeling, which I was a failure at, but I did enjoy swimming in the ocean. Some people in our group of 13 saw sea turtles and lots of fish.
We were allowed to watch the sunrise from the beach or return to our cabins to sit our porches. We elected to shower off the black sand! Very different.
Everyone then met in a pavilion for wine and snacks. Qwan showed us old movies on a laptop and told us about the Dentist that settled on the island in the 1930s with his lover Dora. Both the dentist and Dora pulled out all their teeth and became vegetarians. The video featured the dentist showering in the only water source on the island and Dora dancing with a donkey!
He also told us the story of the Baroness that settled the island with her three lovers - one from Ecuador and 2 from Germany. The movie showed a film the Baroness tried to make with her favorite lover - kind of a Tarzan flick. Two of the Baroness' lovers left and the Baroness and her remaining lover disappeared and were never found.
After the gathering in the pavilion, we were taken to a local restaurant. We ate outside on long tables and were served family style with more wine all around. The meal was comprised of fresh locally made bread and vegetables and chicken for those who ate meat - chickens are everywhere on this island. Needless to say we slept well afterword.