Fwd: position S00 53.845 W89 36.778
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 5 Aug 2017 03:28
Fri 4th August
Our taxi tour today took us 1st to the tortoise breeding centre where around 60 adult tortoises are kept in a large fenced pleasantly wooded area. The eggs taken away for incubation and then hatchlings grown for 5 years in pens before releasing to the compound about dinner plate size. Eventually they are taken up to Punta Pitt at the north end of the island where they live in their natural habitat safe from preditors. I didn't discover how much longer the breeding program will continue untill the population is restored to a sustainable level. If anyone can research please let me know. The adults munch slowly but noisily on okoi leaves in groups around ponds in which they like to cool off when it gets hot.
2nd stop was a beautiful sandy beach at Puerto Chino with turqoise water, rolling surf and scuttering of crabs and a few blue footed boobies resting on the rocks. Someone who shall be nameless got Dianas whatsapp message mixed and wondered why the tortoises have blue boobies! We had a delighful swim avoiding the surf in one corner of the bay, although avoiding the sea lions who prefer the same corner was more tricky.
The final stop was at Lago El Junco - here the taxi driver preferred to wait in the car while we climbed to the lip of the extinct volcano and then walked around the rim with the lake water just visible below through the mist. Once or twice the cloud lifted to give a view of the other side of the caldera but not of the wider island below us. The vegetation here could almost be english heath with bracken and rhodadendron type bushes only with tiny flowers. A few frigate birds were riding the strong breeze on the lip but struggling to hold position-not being built for spilling excess wind.
The change of vegetation from dry coastal woodland to cloud forest is remarkably rapid in the space of a few metres it seemed. Lots of orange groves and some banana and sugar cane once we rose into the cloud. Our driver stopped and hailed his friend by the road to give us some clementines which were beautifuly sweet.
Lunch back in town and then deciding whether to do another tour tomorrow. The rough guide recommends a couple of sites on Espanloa which is a 2 hr boat ride. Diana very dubious about it but I and tour operator assured her it would be fine- hope we are right.