Day 7 - Isabela Island and Volcano

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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island
June 17th 2019
Published: June 17th 2019
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Another early morning and a day packed with adventure. Kirsten as always sets an alarm on her phone and we were set to get up at 6:30. This was not a shower day for Chester, so 30 minutes is all that is needed to get ready. Except, the alarm did not go off this morning, and Kirsten woke up at 6:40. No matter, we were both ready by 7 and had 15 minutes for breakfast before our first pick-up.

Today we were hiking an active volcano. The hike was 16 KM, which is about 10 miles. We had all our gear: hiking boots, rain jackets, water, sunglasses. Thankfully, there were only 8 of us on the hike with our guide. Everyone was young and fit, except of course the two of us. We get shuttled every where in this town, when actually we could walk everywhere. Everyone was within a few blocks of each other’s hotels, but the shuttle picked us all up and dropped us off at the business for a quick briefing and to pick up our sack lunches. Again, it was just a few blocks away and all of us could have walked.

De-briefing done, lunches in hand, we are back in the van for a 30-minute drive to the trail head. We were hoping for sunny skies, but it was misting and raining. We were with 5 Germans, and 1 girl from Norway. We might have rolled our eyes to be stuck with a bunch of Germans, again. But they were all great and we had a good time with everyone. The hike consisted of a 3 KMs incline, then 3 KMs flat, then we would walk around the rim a little and then back the way we came. The weather started out with rain, then a light mist, then the sun came out, jackets came off and we were hiking across lava rock. It was a beautiful hike and well worth it! Kirsten needs to pick up her feet when she walks! She stumbled a number of times up and down the trails. But she thankfully didn’t completely fall to the ground! Depending on where she was, she would have either been a muddy mess, or totally cut up from the lava rocks! When we got to the rim and the top of the volcano, we had lunch looking out over the landscape. Beautiful! It looked as if you were on the moon. We could see clear to the ocean. Our guide couldn’t believe how well we all hiked and how fast. We made great time. In all the hike took 5 hours, from 8 until 1. We are a little sore, but it felt great to get such a cool hike in.

We were back in our hotel by 2 and had an hour before we were to get picked up for our next tour, snorkeling. We saw great stuff a few days ago off Santa Cruz Island and were hoping for more of the same. By 3 our guide grabbed us, we drove just a few blocks back to the pier where we waited for 2 other people to join us. Lucky for us, it was two of the Germans from our hiking group. We all chuckled at our reunion. We walked along the beach a little, but we could find no benches to sit on as they were all occupied—by seals. They were all sizes lounging all along the beach and covering every single bench! We seriously wanted to pet them like they were dogs! We walked down the wooden path through the mangroves, to the dock where we were to launch ourselves off to snorkel. It was the best walk ever! We had to hop over and dodge seals everywhere. One did not like Kirsten too much and kept barking at her as she tried to go around them. After carefully hopping over three different sets of sea wolves, we got to the deck, and low and behold—more sea wolves!

The snorkeling was not as good as we had a few days ago, and the water was so much colder! We were the only ones, again, without wetsuits, but we are tough and could handle it. We saw a large sea turtle right away and beautiful star fish. We swam around the area and it was abundant with colorful fish and coral. The visibility wasn’t great, and damn, we were cold. We later saw an eel and that was pretty much it. We were about 20 minutes into our swim when Kirsten proclaimed quite loudly, “My nipples are as hard as a rock!” Chester checked hers as well, and yep, nipples so hard they could cut glass. We were pretty much done with snorkeling after that. The pace was pretty slow anyway, and we were just too cold. Besides we wanted to hang out with the sea wolves!

Our walk back down the path from the dock was just as adventurous as the sea wolves hadn’t moved at all. We were dodging them again as more of them were awake and not happy with the pitter-patter of swimmers walking over them every few minutes.

It was a good day all that was left to do was shower, write the blog, have a drink and eat dinner. Tomorrow is an especially early day for us, with a 5:20 AM pick-up for our water taxi to take us to another island. Chester is not all that excited to start her birthday off with that early of a start, but the adventure is almost to an end. Chester just needs to make sure she takes her Dramamine in the morning so she can handle the 2-hour speed boat ride back to Santa Cruz to catch our flight to the main land of Ecuador.

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