More from San Cristobal

Mike and Liz Downing
Sun 28 Mar 2010 15:39
We're still anchored in Wreck Bay at Isla San Cristobal and have toured more inland. While the coastal countryside is very arid and covered in black lava rocks, the highlands (it goes up to over 2000ft) are very green, especially this time of year which is the rainy season. On the coast we get light rain every few days, but in the higher parts of the island it looks like it rains most days. When we went inland, most of the higher hills were covered in mist. It reminded us a little of Wales, except that every other plant seemed to be endemic, meaning it's only found in the Galapagos. As well as the unique wildlife, a large percentage of the plants are unique too. San Cristobal is one of the oldest of the islands and the only volcano is extinct and covered in greenery. The other islands have active volcanoes and lava fields that are still bare.
On the way up to see the extinct volcano, we passed the growing area of the island  - bananas, papaya, coffee,
citrus and vegetables. We can buy it all at the Saturday market in the town. (There is only one small town
- Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.)
The top of the extinct volcano, its caldera, is now a lake. The only freshwater lake in the Galapagos.
Frigate birds come here to drink and wash. They don't have oily feathers so cannot land on the water. If they do, they get waterlogged and can't take off again. So they wash by skimming the surface with their bodies, but never stopping. We saw several doing it, but not close enough to take a picture.
The miconia shrub covers the hillsides - it's endemic to the Galapagos.
The opuntia cactus is everywhere in the dry lowland areas around the coast.
One of Darwin's finches - we think it might be a cactus ground finch.
And finally, some more sea lions in town.
The town beach. One evening when we came past it was absolutely packed. We didn't have the camera
with us, but you are not allowed to use flash to take pictures of the sea lions.
They sleep anywhere!