Isabela is a beautiful and unspoiled island. It is really 5 volcanos
stuck together, with each "fertile" part separated by a large and
impenetrable lava flow (we were told by our guide Julio later in the
day that the Ecuadorian special forces failed to cross the 10km lava
flow from the largest Volcano, Sierra Negra, and had to be evacuated
after a couple of days). The main / only real town is in the
Southeast, Puerto Villamil, where the wonderful Beto's bar and hotel
was - in which we stayed.
It may not be 5 star, but the position on the perfect beach and the
warmth and friendliness of Beto and Edith (not to mention a superb bar
scene) made it very memorable.
However, in Beto's garden we found this curious tree growing.... maybe
a sign (hang the drink?)
Having got up and out of the hotel by 7ish, we had a quick breakfast
and began our tour for the day - a trip to the top of the Sierra Negra
volcano and its 10km wide Caldera (the second largest in the world).
Being in the spirit of adventure, we decided to go up the 12km track
on horse back - my last ride was when i was 18! Anyway, after a
hysterical morning of racing our horses, we arrived at the top of the
It really is big, and it last erupted in 2004 - apparently it was
quite a display, and most of the villagers in the town trekked up to
watch the lava flow!
The horses weren't big or fast, but they were great fun - despite the
onset of rain for our return journey.
Captain Matt did his best to prove his superior horseman skills (he is
very good at horsing around) whilst Jenny proved that she was clearly
in a league of her own.
We finished the day wet and happy......