Tortuga Bay & Las Grietas

Since it was our last day in the Galapagos, we decided it should be a relaxing one.  So, after a good night’s sleep and leisurely breakfast we discussed options for the day.  Maritza previously suggested two short hikes: the first to a secluded, beautiful beach called Tortuga Bay, and the second to a small canyon popular for swimming and cliff jumping, known as Las Grietas.  We heeded her advice and set out for the day.

Path to Tortuga Bay

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Ninja Turtle

Happy Thanksgiving from The Galapagos!

This morning, we woke up early and packed our things; we are sadly leaving Isabela and heading to Santa Cruz, the last island of our visit to the Galapagos.  Santa Cruz is the most inhabited and built-up of the islands, and it happens to be the home of our tour guide, Maritza.

Instead of taking a small plane again, this trip was via speedboat.  Our group boarded along with 20 or so other travelers and off we went.  Despite a loud and bouncy ride of approximately one hour, Rachel fell fast asleep, and I tried listening to an audiobook.  Unfortunately, I started feeling a little motion sick about half way through and gave up on the audiobook so that I could focus all of my energy on holding myself together.  I stared at the only available fixed objects I could see from my side of the boat; a series of small islands and/or large rock formations between Puerto Vilamil and Puerto Ayora.  Finally seeing Santa Cruz was quite a relief, and I was able to keep my motion-sickness in check.

After transferring to water taxis and setting foot on the dock, we took a short walk through town, then piled into a few (land) taxis en route to our hotel, La Casa de Judy.  It was a beautiful hotel, with an outdoor eating area on the first level beside the pool, and 2 levels of rooms above, with a roof deck and penthouse room beyond.

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Sierra Negra, Volcan Chico, & Tintoreras

This morning we piled into a van with John and Cara plus Stormy and Avery, who joined us for the rest of our trip.  The Georgians parted ways with us last night and will finish their trip with 2 days in Mindo instead of staying in the Galapagos.  Our destination for the day was the Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico volcanos, which are both part of the same mountain.  We would hike up to the caldera of Sierra Negra, then around and over the other side through lava fields to Volcan Chico where we had a beautiful view overlooking the ocean.

It was drizzly at the trailhead and remained that way all the way up.  Unfortunately that meant we couldn’t see the large caldera (7.2 x 9.3 km), because it was completely filled with fog but it kept the trail damp which (we were told) can get extremely dusty when it is dry.

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Chris + Rachel