ISABELA – GALAPAGOS
Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, but has the smallest population, only 2200 people. Most of whom live in the town of Puerto Villamil. As you can image there isn’t much of interest in town; only a few shops and cafes.
There are no ATM’s, not even a bank- so I’m not sure what the locals do with their money, probably put it in a tin under the bed!! Although the social scene is sparse the anchorage here makes up for it.
The wild life is sensational – penguins and sea lions swimming under around your boat and not at all frightened of you. Since we have been here we have done a couple of good tours, first to the sea tunnels about 14 miles down the coast from the port.
The tunnels were formed when the larva solidified on the surface, but kept flowing underneath. This give rises to voids in the larva, which over thousands of years has collapsed which forms a maze of channels and arches that is a haven for marine life. It is the most amazing landscape we have ever seen. Apparently there is nothing like it on earth.
The trip there isn’t straight forward as the boat captain has to take his boat in through the surf and between all the rocks. Only last week one of the tour boats turned over and the passengers lost all their snorkel and camera gear. Our guy was meant to be the best person for the job and he spent over 10 minutes reading the surf before we made a mad dash for the entrance of the tunnels.
Once in we explored the area by boat then we snorkelled seeing sea horses, several large white tip sharks, (close enough to touch!!) huge turtles, rays, penguins and lots of blue footed boobies which are only found here in Galapagos.
Our second tour was to the main volcano on the island, Sierra Negra which is the second largest crater in the world. It last erupted in 2005.It took an hour bus trip to the base of the volcano and then a 12 mile hike up and around the crater.
To ease the legs a bit, but not the thighs we rode horses around the crater. Not being in peak condition Penny was exhausted. We got back at 3.00p.m, and after a couple of refreshing ales in the first bar we stumbled across, we went back to the boat where Penny crashed and slept for 14hours!!.