Monday, April 19, 2010
Buen Dia! I've been sitting on this blog thing for a while, it's been getting increasingly harder for me to do this. I'm not sure exactly why but I think part of it is I feel the blog doesn't even remotely encompass what is actually going on and does a little injustice to me, my trip and the people in it. However here I am to attempt to update the few of you that might still check in on this. Things have changed since the last blog, I have an addition to the travel team. Dj came down from California, quitting his job and ready to jump into the abyss. So Dj flew into Guayaquil in Ecuador and I picked him up at the airport. We had no plans other than me picking him up. When we met up at the airport we decided to walk over to the 2 airlines that fly to the galapagos and one of them had a flight to one island for the next morning and we bought the ticket and just like that we had a 'plan'. Back to the hostel, organizing the things in my car and packing for the galapagos for a 2 week trip and we're off just like that. We have no clue where we're going, where we're staying or what we're doing. Most people have all these pre booked tours on boats and here we walk onto an island we haven't heard of with zero clue what to do. But this is the type of travel I'm used to now, use my spanish to walk around and ask people where are good places to sleep/etc. We get on a ferry boat and then a bus to a town that is supposed to be a good jumping off point for activities. Landing a basic hostel room we're at least here with a room to sleep in while we get our bearings and sort things out. First morning we walk to a protected beach nearby and we are just blow away by what we stumble onto. Along the path on the walk to the beach are giant cactus trees unlike anything I've ever seen, birds flying all over and butterflies accompanying us to the beach. We step onto the beach & it seems we've stepped onto the moon. Milky white sand, soft and fine, with turquoise blue waters & hardly any signs of other humans. One of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, if not the most. There are giant marine iguanas walking around, huge pelicans gliding in the air, birds, butterflies and even a little bit of surf. We go for a swim and start to soak it in...here we are on the galapagos, a place both of us of only dreamed of from watching on discovery channel. A relaxing day at the beach building sand castles, catching up as I haven't had a chance like this to just talk to one of my friends in well a long time. Next day we're walking around looking at giant land tortoises which are so huge with crazy shells. We find soliterio george who is the only one of his kind, nobody in his species exists any more. Galapagos are very interesting when it comes to evolution and species. They host a load of endemic species and loads of interesting things around the animals on different island and how their shells might form based on food or all kinds of crazy facts. The animals in general on the galapagos are different than anywhere I've ever been. They aren't used to having predators so they don't move when humans get close, including the birds. The wildlife surely runs these islands and you are just a mere spectator. It's amazing and indescribable really. Another day passes and after some chatting around Dj & I are on a boat to another island, San Cristobal. This island is supposed to have some good surf and some cool wildlife so it seems like a good option for us. Another day of having to search out a place to stay, in the heat, but we keep our at times conflicting views on prices and places along with both sweating to death and eventually I ask around enough to land us at Cabanas don jorge. Such a basic little house but a house with a kitchen swung outside of the little town with it's own beach right out front. And for 12.50 per person per night we were sold, we found our home for the rest of the trip. Things were just working out and we couldnt' have found a better place for us. This island has a nice little boardwalk area which has a park with some slides and such but instead of their being kids playing in the park, there are hundreds of sea lions playing and walking on the boardwalk. It's so funny and entertaining to watch when they're trying to sleep. Our first day we take a taxi to a beach on the other side of the island that we've heard of and of course it's another day of being blown away. The wildlife is always just right there, whether it's frigates, boobies, iguanas, sea turtles, etc. And this time it's black lava rock meeting white puka shell sandy beach with big hawaii style surf. There is 1 surfer in the water and another on the beach who walks up and introduces himself. This guy turns out to be a character that we interact with the entire trip, his name is Fernando from Brazil but we forget his name and rightfully name him stoney baloney. He's kind of like a lord of the ring character with the strangest ears I've ever seen. He's really nice and tells us so many funny stories that Dj and I had wished we'd video'd a dinner session with him. He's kind of one of these guys that has drifted all over the world, somewhere in his 40s and he's spent the last 3 months on the galapagos. I guess if I don't put an end to my trip I might end up this way... We chit chat for a bit, go for a surf in pretty intimidating conditions with shallow rocks on the inside but all in all really fun. Over the next 2 weeks we get to know all the surfers on the island, all 8 of them, and get on water taxi's to drop us off on reefs and pick us up later or walk to the break near our casita. We do one snorkel tour one day that turns out to be amazing. We're brought out to this rock called kicker rock and the water here is the deep dark blue. There is a split in the rock which has a current pulled thru it and we swim thru this part, with a million fish, turtles, sharks and eagle rays. I'd never seen an eagle ray before but swimming over a giant set of eagle rays was so cool. Same with the white tipped and black tipped reef sharks, something I'd never swam with either. Snorkeling in galapagos you see all the fish you'd see in a dream aquarium, it's unbelievable. The day trip included some stops at some small other islands that had the bluest waters that made me think we were in the Caribbean somewhere or tahiti or something. except we're seeing blue footed boobies and frigates with their puffed out red throats flying around. SUch a crazy experience. More days back on the island surfing, relaxing, snorkeling with hundreds of sea turtles, sea lions, puffer fish, clownfish, etc. Walking to the surf near our house proved always a challenge as all of the marine iguanas blend into the lava rock and so do the sea lions so you have to be careful where you step. One time trying to enter the water I couldn't get by the sea lions, they weren't liking how close I was walking to them but they were blocking the entrance so I tried to slip by which prompted one of them to jump off the rock into the water and come barreling at me....I had to use my surfboard as defense and ended up falling down but all in all it just created a big laugh for us. The last few days we caught amazing surf, 15 foot faces breaking across this bay with perfect peeling rights. SO much fun. We left galapagos on such a high, with a few cuts and bruises on us and our boards and a giant smile on our faces. We both still can't believe we did but it was so worth it. The galapagos has to be one of the best places on earth to visit.
My plan with this blog was to catch up to right now but now I'm running out of time so I'm going to leave it as just galapagos. Next installment will include 3 flat tires, hitch hiking with 1 flat in the rain, pushing the ladies car who picked me up and then broke down in the mud, driving to guayaquil city, running around bribing customs, police, getting searched by police dog, them trashing my things and my car trying to rip all the plastic out and check for drugs and finally getting my car in a container bound for Panama. By the next blog I should be on another continent. Have some friends and family coming to costa rica in a few weeks so we're trying to make it there but it hasn't been easy to accomplish this. hope everyone is healthy and HAPPY doing just what they want....that's what I'm doing. chau, jesse