September 12, 2007
My cruise decision was made easier for me this morning. I went to book a four-day cruise, but was told that it was no longer available, but a five day cruise for the same price on a lower class of boat suddenly was. The cruise went to different islands, but supposedly these islands have a wider variety of wildlife to view. I even got the travel agency owner to throw in snorkeling gear for the cruise and a kayak to paddle around Puerto Ayora's Bay one day. I really have no idea what the cruise will be like, so I'll just have to wait and see. I just hope Daniela isn't too disappointed with my choice.
I spend a good part of the afternoon just hanging around Puerto Ayora. The fish market provided a lively attraction for the tourists as the guy cutting up his day's catch threw the guts to the awaiting pelicans and sea lions. Little boat taxis constantly took people from the dock to the bigger ships in the harbor. There were large iguanas sunbathing on the pier, and blue foot boobies and frigates were taking in the thermals overhead and occasionally diving into the water in search of a meal. I could spend days just watching the action of Puerto Ayora.
Later in the afternoon I took a walk to Bahia Tortuga, 3 K's from the center of town. The walk went along a cobblestone path through some thick, dry vegetation with lots of cacti and finches to keep me company. Joggers and some surfers carrying their boards back to town with them were the only other people on the path.
The beach was big, beautiful, and almost deserted. A few surfers were still out enjoying the turbulent waves, but nobody was swimming, and I didn't feel like joining them. The Galapagos Islands are famous for their strong currents, and I wasn't about to test that reputation only two days before my cruise that I had already paid for. There were a few sea turtles swimming around, and lots of birds overhead. One pelican almost flew right into me, which confirmed that most of the animals on the Galapagos have no fear of humans, who are by far their biggest enemy. After seeing the abundance of unique oceangoing animals in and around the largest city on the islands, I was really excited to see what was lurking in some of the more remote places.
The photo album for this entry is here.