An inland tour of Santa Cruz

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Mon 5 Mar 2012 20:00
Andrea and I want on an inland tour of the island.  The guide first took us to his home to show us how he lived.  He had moved out from the town to a smallholding where he raised chickens and a goat that he rescued from the national park (feral goats are pests in the Galapagos).  His house was totally self-sufficient with solar panels for electricity and water collection from the roof.  When he heard that we were setting off on a long trip he took us to his fruit plantation and cut down two hands of bananas, three guavas and a large squash for us to take with us.
Then we visited a lava tunnel.  When a river of molten lava cools down it tends to harden on the outside first, forming tubes through which the still-molten lava runs out.  One of the tourist attractions on Santa Cruz is a 400m tunnel that you can walk (and eventually crawl) through.
We visited a tortoise ranch, where you can see giant tortoises going about their business (slowly).  The ranch is within a national park that extends to the coast, so that the females can safely make the 10 km trek to lay their eggs.