Adiós Isabela, Galápagos

April 17, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
This sailing life at times feels like a string of one night stands, checking in, falling head over heels, tempted to settle down but knowing that we have to move on. Even so, when we weighed anchor at 4.30am from Isabela heading to Santa Cruz, I wasn't ready to leave. We had been given such a warm welcome by Steven, Javier's rep on the island, Stha...
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Casa Rosada and Iguana Bay, Isabela, Galápagos

April 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
Marine iguanas are to Isabela what sea lions are to San Cristóbal: legion. While we have seen the odd one before, here the moment we stepped onto the pontoon in Puerto Villamil they were everywhere. Basilisks basking on black rocks, part chameleon, part dragon. The place to really marvel at them though is Iguana Bay. The wall by the Casa Rosada is...
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On Attitude, Adventure and the Darwin Spirit, Isabela, Galápagos

April 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
Attitude, Darwin once wrote, is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. These words had particular resonance for LA CIGALE during our time on Isabela, as one by one Xavier, then Isabelle and Francis dropped like flies, struck down by a nasty stomach bug doing the rounds around the cruising community. It wasn't until our last day on Isabe...
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Down Flamingo Way, Isabela, Galápagos

April 16, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
The Sendero de los Flamencos, or the Path of the Flamingos, is a beautiful walkway on the outskirts of Puerto Villamil that takes the scenic route up the to the Tortoise Sanctuary. We missed it first time round and took the dirt track main road, arriving to find the sanctuary had just closed. A double whammy! Luckily the next day José, our taxi dri...
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Sucre Caves, Isabela, Galápagos

April 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
Volcanoes are rock dragons, unpredictable and temperamental. Even those that are extinct, have an air of mystery about them because of their history. So it was a real thrill to descend into the volcanic tunnels in the caves at Sucre, and explore the stalagmite and stalactite formations left by lava flows there once upon a millennia. We went on a g...
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Checking in to Isabela, Galapagos

April 15, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
It was a full day’s sail from San Cristóbal to the island of Isabela, which meant an early start, weighing anchor in the darkness. As well as the send off from the sea lion (see previous post), standing at the bow and shining the steamer scarer into the water to watch for buoys and rocks, I saw giant turtles, tuna, and long black and white coils of...
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The Sealions of San Cristobal, The Galapagos

April 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
Where to begin with the sealions of San Cristóbal? They stink, they snap, they may even bite. They cause all sorts of mischief, especially to those of us living on catamarans, where the stern steps are an open invitation to stowaways. Thank heavens we had back nets and made use of the fenders as deterrents - in the early days I had hoped that in th...
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Exploring by bike San Cristóbal, The Galapagos

April 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
2 April: After cycling through Panamanian jungle (see post on Chagres National Park - click here) we were keen to get out our bikes again and joined RAFTKIN and PELIZENO for a freewheeling ride down El Junco volcano. With half a dozen children in the group we decided it would be more fun to start on the downhill leg and so took taxis up to the top,...
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Volcano El Junco and Animal Magic in San Cristóbal, The Galapagos

April 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
31 March, 2018: Only about 20% of San Cristóbal is accessible to visitors, or locals, in order to protect the ecology. Even then, exploring generally requires the services of a guide. There are a couple of main tours. One of the standard ones is the day trip to the volcano El Junco, followed by a trip to the tortoise sanctuary, La Tortuguera, and t...
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A very Good Friday in The Galapagos

April 12, 2018  •  Leave a Comment
30 March, 2018: We had never planned to be in The Galapagos for Easter, but now that we were here, we were going to join in the Easter celebrations on the island. We were up at crack of dawn on Good Friday as the fumigators arrived at 8am, a certificate being a mandatory part of the entrance requirements. They arrived early and we had a drink toget...
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