24.05.2015 - 06.06.2015 32 °C
Start is now on my second day on Isla Santa Cruz (The infatigable) on the Galapagos. As said beofre, I had booked a snorkel-trip to the island of Pinzon. I paid a lot, but the island is only open since a year for tourists and so is still an 'underground' destination. When sitting on the boatr with only married couples I knew that this wasn't a day-trip for backpackers, nor for my budget. But hey, is not every year I'm here, and I wanted to see animals :-)
On our first spot we saw some huuuge fishes. Before human arrival on Galapagos, the islands had there intact biotop where almost not many natural ennemies existed. Moreover, the water is very rich in plancton and other nutritiens, whcih makes the view a bit troubled but resulkts in huuge underwater life. I saw some fishes I had seen on other places, like Egypt or Turkey, but waayy bigger, it was really impressive. It's called the giantism of Galapagos. While in the water, I saw something like torpedos just passing by me at almost light speed. It were penguins :-) The islands is the only place worldwide where penguins live on the ecuador, or even tropics. Normally penguins stay on the poles. Lukcily a guy had a gopro and he filmed I don't know for how long the animlas and on one video you see the 3 penguins swimming towards me and starting to pic into the gopro, from now on the trip was worth its 100 bucks :p After that spot we went top snorkel in deep water, something I haaaate doin' cause I cannot bear not seing the ground while swimming. But again, we were lucky and saw a huge bunch of sea-turtles swimming betwwen the darkened water transpierced by flashes of the sun. Magnificient contrast We went to a third spot to play with sea-lions but they were in a bad mood, so that would have to wait for another day to happen..
After again eating rice with soya sauce, I enjoyed my evening ritual in Puerto Ayora. Every night I would go the peer where sea-lions come to sleep at night, they are soo cute, you lamost want to take on and put it into your bag Moreover, as the npeer is enlightened you seeall kinds of fishes, including sharks, swimming around. Next day should be my official diving bapteme¡ I had found a n agency which offered two 45 minutes duves for 150USD, which is apperently a fair price. What better p´lace to learn diving than on Galapagos? Only poor thing, was that I would not be allowed to go deeper than 12m and so in case of a bad visibility I would not be able to see any hammer-head sharks, which swim around 25-30m.At first I really had to trust that plastic mouthpiece, but after few minutes I was alright and I was on going deeper into the rough sea. The islands are a really nice place to dive but with many strong currents, one have to be very careful¡ At our first dive, at one place the streams were so strong (like at 6-7 m depth) that I had to hold a rock not to be flushed away, and so was everbody else. But hey we saw a huuuge mureene which came very close, probably to inspect my beard for food :p And then I saw my first shark just sleeping under a rock, surprisingly I ddn't feel anything, well I have to admit it was still a small one :p But then on the second dive, after seeing turtles, mureenes, biig fishes, a real big shark swam this time past me, and it was at least a meter and a half long. It was a white-tiped Galapagos shark, commonly called Tintoreros. They are totally harmeless and even more with so many fishes in the water, I don't think that a sharks would ever try and bite a diver. They probably know that the taste of a giant parrot-fish is better than that of a wetsuit. So I came home and packed my bag as I would leave the next day for Isabella Island¡
After a bumpy 2 hours ride, one arrive at Isabella, whcih is by the way where the Wulf volcano has errupted last week, but unfortunately I couldn't see the erruption as the island is very cloudy. It's cloudy and with almost noo tourists A real dream¡ First day, I did NOTHING, some skype at my very cool hostel, lying in a hamoke, then I was gone for the beach to play in the waves and take a nap under palm trees. While lying under a palm, I saw the palm next to me a guy sleeping as well, and it was a german guy I had met in Santa Cruz, so we decided to catch up someday on he island and have a drink at a very coool beach-bar (slingshot, camp-fire, hamoke, local surfer but expensive beer). The next day I had booked a small trip to go and snorkel through lava-craters in the bay of the island. Again I swam with penguins, sea-iguanas (like mini-godzillas) many fishes and, AND a fk}ckin huuuge shark. Like an idiot a trailed the shark for like 5 minutes and it had almost my size, but I was soo fascinated¡ I had yelled look at the shark and a swiss girl was soo frightened at the look that she immediately got out of the water :p The same afternoo I went for some cycling with the Gemrna guy to visit the mainlands of the island. Soo stunnings view, we went up a mirador from where you could see a dense tropical forest totally untouched by humans, and we were gone starting philosophing how many dinosaurs would be living there.
The next day , a saturday, the boat back to Sanat Cruz from where my plan was going off on sunday was shedulded at 3pm and so before going to the boat I went for some snorkeling on my own, in a bay nearby the harbour. And there it happened, all the time on Galapagos I had been looking for sea-lions, and I had seen many but they were just a bit swimming with you before heading off. But no , not this time. I was lucky as I was swimming alone in the water when a young sea-lion swam towards me and starting making tourns around me, swimming back and forth and always almost touching me. It lasted I don't knw 15minutes, and I would have paid to see the smile on my face, that was pure happiness, and which you cannot buy
I tried really to keep my costs small, but everything is soo expensive there, but I have no regret in ahvin been there, even if know I will need to eat cheap food and sleep at cheaper places, if I don't wan to run out of money before july/august
On sunday I was goin back to Quito, took me 3 hours by bus to get from the airport to the bus terminal from where I would take a bus to Latacunga, yeah Quito is really big :p Before my trip, when I had to sit for 30 minutes on a bus in luxembourg I was really pissed off, know a trip of 2 hours, I'm like well that's quick :p In Latacunga I stayed one night, after which I did the Quilotoa Lagubna, which is in fact an old volcano crater, know full of natural water. Stunbning view, but it was really windy and cold, I was still used to Galapgos 30 degrees, so I got a small cough. On the very same day, I booked a night bus for the Peruvian boarder as I wanted to see now another country and stop haviung to pay a lot, as Ecuador, despite being called a cheap country, was really expensive as they use the dollar. The Peruvian crossing in Agua Verde is called South America worst boarder, and wow it is sooo much deserved. Such a pain in the ass to get from the town, which called itself boarder-town, but have to take cab to get to the boarder abd then another one to drop you off in some dodgy city and then a bus again, I mean a real mess. Takin the cab as a gringo cost me a fortune, 15USD¡¡, but better that then getting my stuff stolen. Late in the afternoon I arrived then at Mancora, where I would stay a couple of days, enjoying some surfing, few beers, chilling in the sun and waiting for that god dam kiwi to arrive in Peru as we had planned to travel a bit together Finally I spent 4 nights at this party town without doin much Reading books, skyping, hanging on my phne and occosianaly talking to the some of the party crowds here. Nice place but to noisy at night, but I got a good tan so now I'm ready for going South towards the Peruvian mountains. It's time to hike¡