We picked up some wind overnight and had a good
sail arriving in Christobal at 10.30 am. We were soon invaded by officials
including our agent (you have to have one), a policeman, the Harbour Master in
his finest whites and a very serious man from the Agriculture Ministry who
wanted to fumigate the boat, we had a close inspection of all our food cupboards
and lockers, we passed muster and avoided an unpleasant fumigation. All this
with inquisitive sealions all around eager to come on board and help out.
The Galapagos rely on their wildlife to support a
thriving Ecotourism industry and take its protection very seriously. They
clearly invest a lot of money in their parks service and with good effect. Today
we went on a tour of the island with a New Zealand couple and an excellent
guide, which started with a visit to a Tortoise sanctuary.
The centre was well laid out with boardwalks
through the undergrowth and semi-natural conditions allowing the tortoises to
thrive. They also had an interpretation centre and a hatchery where they are
able to incubate the eggs away from the rats and cats that otherwise eat them
An argument over dinner
After the sanctuary we drove through the highland
region where with greater rainfall there is a thriving agricultural region
growing a wide variety of crops, but insufficient for the needs of the island.
There is also a coffee plantation which produces one of the few exports of the
island. We then had a short stiff walk up to the rim of the volcano where we
saw....nothing. The clouds form a thick mist over the highland for much of the
time and provide much of the moisture.
On to a local beach where we eventually saw some
rather shy black marine iguana who were in the scrub, presumably hiding
from the heat of the day.
Our excellent English speaking guide was very
knowledgeable about the wildlife and the unique ecology of the island.
Finally we went to the home of Pablo who had
arranged the tour and had a good lunch of soup, rice salad with
fish followed by peaches, before returning home to defend the boat
'Sorry, just looking!'
'Just up for a morning stroll. What about
' Oops, they're back again, better scarper and hope they
don't find that poop I've