Sunset at San Cristobal

CHRISTMAS, CRUSTATIONS, & POOP

After our guests left, I flew back to the States to be with my family.  We had a family emergency that I needed to attend to before crossing the Pacific.  Matt stayed on-board and managed to complete a lot of boat projects, welcome our new guests, and cook up some crustations.

While I was away, our two friends, Ron and Sally joined Sugar Shack.  We asked them to join us as additional crew on our upcoming passage to Chile.  Matt was the perfect host and tour guide.  He showed them around Santa Cruz and San Cristobal and took them to all the hot spots.

Sally met some crustations at the fish market and picked out a few favorites for dinner

Sally picking out dinner: crustations

Sally picking out dinner: crustations

Ron had fun with all of the Charles Darwin images around the island – remarkable resemblance, don’t you think?

Ron posing next to Chuck

Ron posing next to Chuck

Once I arrived, we unloaded my two enormous bags of goodies.  Always a bit like Christmas which is especially fitting since it is so close to Santa coming.  We only have a few more days before we have to leave as Ron and Sally need to be in Chile by 3rd of January.

Christmas on San Cristobal

Christmas on San Cristobal

Unfortunately, a few, large sea lions made it past our fender barrier and on to the boat.  Normally, it would be “oh look how cute the sea lions want to come with us.”  But when you come back to this, you just want to scream and pull your hair out.  Yes, that is poop an dirt all over the cushions, floor, and side walls.

Presents from the Sea Wolves: POOP

Presents from the Sea Wolves: POOP

Matt and Ron checked out the video from our security camera.  Evidently, two sea lions rolled around every seat cushion before leaving us some early presents.

COMING UP NEXT:

We go on a dive tour with Islanders Galapagos and swim with sharks!

Las Grietas Swimming Pond

Las Grietas, Salt Pond, and Los Tunneles

Off to explore Santa Cruz.  Matt found a few places that were within walking distance so we decided to go exploring.  Las Grietas is across the bay and can easily be reached with a water taxi and a hike.  If we feel jiggy, afterwards we are going to try to find Los Tunneles on the mainland before having a col beverage at sunset.

LAS GRIETAS

Las Grietas means crevis or crack which is exactly what this is between two tall cliffs.  To get to Las Grietas you make a short 1.5 mile hike on an easy trail.  Once there you encounter an amazing sight to behold.  It is a beautiful swimming pond sandwiched between two huge cliffs.

The Las Grietas Hike

The Las Grietas Hike

On the way to Las Grietas we came across a small salt pond.  The salt marshes are connected to the sea.  With the help of the tides, the water floods and goes around the shallow areas.  The wind and sun evaporate the water which allows the crystallization of the salt.  Do you think if I swam in this my hair would turn pink?

Galapagos Salt Pond

Galapagos Salt Pond

Las Grietas was formed by the displacement of lava due to volcanic eruptions.  The water in Las Grietas is brackish, the result of mixing salt and fresh water.  The fresh water comes from the highlands through the underground filtration.  In Galapagos, fresh water is a big treasure!  A treasure can be simple but extremely valuable.

We so loved walking around the top of the cliffs.  But, unfortunately, we did not bring our suits or snorkel gear so we didn’t go swimming.  We will have to come back and take a dip in this pristine water!

Las Grietas Swimming Pond

Las Grietas Swimming Pond

Los Tuneles

After that great hike to Las Grietas, we headed back to town, hopped in the water taxi to take us to the main land to begin our walk to find Los Tuneles.  How were these tunnels formed?  When the surface part of a lava flow cools in temperature during its flow, that part solidifies.  However, the parts further inside continue to flow forming an extensive tube shape through which the lava flows uninterruptedly.

When the eruption stops, this flow also stops.  The level drops and an underground tunnel is left.  Over time, sections of tunnels collapse making these very unstable.

El Tunel on Santa Cruz

El Tunel on Santa Cruz

GALAPAGOS FACTS

  • In a few years, solar will provide 100% of power to San Cristobal (now 50-60%)
  • 3% of the island is provided for living (homes) farming.  Therefore, 97% of the island is considered a national park
  • Don’t allow plastic straws at any island (metal or paper)
  • In addition, all single use plastic will be banned within the next few years.
  • San Cristobal has 3 wind turbines that provides the majority of the power for the island.
Pretty View from Las Grietas Trail

Pretty View from Las Grietas Trail

Gorgeous Sunset through a tree.  Although the tree is beautiful during the day, it becomes spectacular at night.

Sunset

Sunset

Meat Market for All

Discovering the History of Galapagos

We had Wayne for one more day and decided to learn a little more about the history of Galapagos.  In order to do that, we had to find the Centro de Intrepretacioin Ambiental.  The Interpretation Center walks you through the history of Galapagos islands.  You can also learn about the animals, flora, fauna, and the local population.  Five buildings share the origins of the islands, the Charles Darwin Foundation, and the hope for the future.

Interpretation Center

Interpretation Center

On our adventure, Matt happened to wear a “Freebirds” T-Shirt.  I only mention this because he never does cotton shirts.  He normally wears quick dry shirts because cotton is horrible in the heat.  But, on this day he wore it and we happened to come across a small eatery called “Freebirds.”  What are the odds?  Wayne admired Charles Darwin, I kicked up my heels with a blue footed boobie and took a nap on a sunbathing turtle.

Playing the Tourist

Playing the Tourist

After Wayne left, Matt and found the meat market.  To our surprise it was home to several begging sea wolves, seagulls, and marine iguanas.

Meat Market for All

Meat Market for All

The Galapagos have a strong recycling program in force.  In addition, they are diligent about keeping their islands clean.  One entrepreneurial local educate visitors and residents about the dangers of cigarette butts. He spent well over 25 years creating these displays out of cigarette butts – as if the habit is not disgusting enough…

Display of Cigarette butts

Display of Cigarette butts