Friday morning we did a few boat jobs before getting a water taxi into the pier.
We then managed to get a land taxi to take us to the other end of the town saving us the 30 minute walk to the Booby Trap as we wanted to speak to James the agent. We had asked him to get our exit Zarpe organised earlier in the week to try to avoid double fees because of the Easter holiday. Amazingly he had it in hand ready for us and no overtime charged. Very pleased about that.
We had lunch at his café before following the sand road towards the wetlands trail. We started off walking on wooden bridges across the deep orange/red coloured water presumably caused by metal deposits. We quickly came across some ducks, some flamingos and other birds. So we enjoyed watching them for a while.
We continued walking and quickly the path turned to an ash one crossing over lava flows which were adorned with the usual cactus.
We meandered up and down for a while until finally we reached our destination which was the tortoise breeding centre. There are two different species found here on the volcanic slopes on Isabela and they are breeding them to ensure their survival. The original tortoises in this centre were rescued from a volcanic eruption and have managed to increase their population ten fold in just a few years. The most noticeable difference is the shape of their shells….with some of them looking like they have been squished LOL. Oh yes…and did you know that giant tortoises yawn?!?
Leaving the breeding centre we walked the dusty road back rather than following the trail again…and it was much quicker. We arrived on the deserted beach and just took in the spectacular views. Suddenly there were birds everywhere – frigates, boobies and pelicans alike – and a feeding frenzy was underway. There were hundreds of them and lots of synchronised diving with the male boobies calling the shots with their loud whistles. Amazing sight!
We continued walking until we arrived at our favourite beach bar and said hi to the marine iguanas on the beach – even catching a shot of one of them swimming – and made camp in hammocks having a cold restorative beer. Just watching the surf coming in on this deserted coastline is a sight to treasure. We loved watching the pelican taking time out on the beach too away from his friends.
Fully refreshed we headed back but not before stopping off at the local beach to check out the sea lions – who were being mischievous and sleeping on towels left by unsuspecting tourists who had gone into the sea. And they weren’t giving them back any time soon! The baby seal was there again too striking another cute pose.
Back to Morphie for another quiet night in the cockpit.
Saturday morning and it was time for boat jobs. Richard did some varnish keepers while I cleaned all the stainless steel. It was hard to stay focused because every now and again the baby seal would swim under Morphie and look up at me….. Not to mention the pelican who sits on the big buoy behind us….and the big fish that just swim by. It’s a good job this isn’t penguin season – apparently they are off breeding elsewhere – as I’m not sure the stainless would have got done if they were swimming around the boat too LOL. Richard then did engine checks and routine maintenance in preparation for our departure from Isabela on Tuesday morning. Around lunchtime we headed into town via water taxi and got another land taxi – we’ve been very lucky the last few days.
The purpose of going into town was to pay for our diving on Sunday – but the office was closed. Lots of places close here for a few hours in the afternoon. So we wandered the beach promenade and found a local restaurant for lunch which was very nice.
We then went back and paid for our diving….hopped another taxi back to the pier….and got a water taxi back to Morphie. We had a quiet evening on board. Oh yes…and a big ship had come into the anchorage…and was overloading loads of cargo onto barges to be taken ashore. We expected fridges / freezers and fresh produce but not trucks….
Sunday morning we were up early and got our gear ready…and the dive boat Gaby came by and collected us. We sped across the channel towards Tortuga – which is another volcanic island with a sunken crater rim which was the destination for our dive.
We jumped in and went down into the nutrient-rich waters which makes for limited visibility . We enjoyed both dives and particularly the sights of the sharks (including hammerheads woo hoo), seals, turtles, huge numbers of fish and much more. Favourite fish of the day was the yellow puffer fish which we’ve never seen before. Was spectacular diving but, again, with the murky water it was difficult to get good photos but here are the best of the bunch.
This morning, Monday, and we awoke to a fantastic sunrise.
I’m blogging while Richard is keeping busy checking the football scores LOL. We are planning a final beach afternoon today before heading out of here early tomorrow – Tuesday – to return to Santa Cruz to do the clearing out process and final provisioning. We are hoping to start our passage to the Marquesas on Saturday but will keep you posted.
Bye for now