Travel Journal

Galapagos – Floreana Island

(Friday 20 May 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 270 5/4/11
The boat had repositioned itself to Floreana Island overnight. In the morning I was surprised to see Henry as one of the two new passengers. I didn’t realize he had booked this boat. We ate breakfast and then went for a dry landing at Velazco Point where we boarded a chiva and made our way up the hill over rather bumpy roads to the humid zone for a hike. The guide gave us some history of the first settlers of the islands and the three groups of Germans that took up residency here and the friction between these three radical groups. Murder, lover’s triangles, a mad dentist with no teeth, a whip welding Baroness with three husbands, pretty bizarre stuff.
On our hike we saw tortoises, mostly males and a male trying to mate with a male. It seemed like too much effort to me! The ridges on the shells will tell you how old a tortoise is but the older ones have had their shells worn smooth so you can see the ridges. Probably too much sex.
Floreana is an island of mysteries but the only intriguing thing about it is its history. The pirates caves are merely small openings in the rock, the face carved in the rock is only about eighty years old a lesson from one of the settlers to his son on carving, the Robinson Caruso aspect, if it was really there for the first settlers, is long gone. The natural setting is a nice introduction to the Galapagos but there is no wow factor.
We boarded the Beagle and sailed to Pta. Cormorant and had lunch. Snorkeling followed and I opted to skip the wetsuit which was an extra charge and the water was not that cold. I should have worn a shirt though as my back got quite red from floating on the water. The dive was quite nice and I wish I had an underwater camera to take photos but perhaps I will get some pictures from the other passengers as we passed our email addresses around and promised to upload some pictures to share. It was mostly schools of fish and some coral though on this dive.
Next was a wet landing on Cormorant Point and a short hike to the brackish lagoon. On the way there we got our first glimpse of the blue-footed Booby which is a striking bird as well as a sea lion – the first of many on this trip. There was much oohing and ahhing over the flamingos from the group while I was more busy swatting mosquitoes. There were some other birds that Daniel pointed out and then we hiked to a nesting beach of the pacific green turtles. No sign of the turtles or the hatchings scurrying to the water which is not surprising as both occur at night. We did see a couple of golden stingrays mating in the surf which was rather cool.
We had dinner and a briefing on the next day’s activities. I must say the food they served was very good and my body was confused with having three meals a day at regular times. I headed back to my air conditioned cabin for some sleep.


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