my weekend in san cristobal

Published: October 19th 2009
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Im back in the hospital today,..trying to find the right moment to get them to sign me off..without putting the date...
doing mtas...but anyway, the weekend was for more interesting..
Friday night I went to a school event with some of the volunteers at the navy school. They thought it was going to be a fashion show, After waiting for an hour and a half from the published start hour, the show finally started. The volunteer had undesrtood it was a school election but actually it was a beauty pageant for electing a king and queen of the sea...but really the guy was just there to have the girl on their arm.

the surreal evening started with the three competing girls who were 15 16 and 17 doing a provocative belly dance in little crop tops tiny sarongs and thongs.!! the guys were there to be danced around. That set the tone for the evening.

It then proceeded with entertainment between acts..The other memebers of the school danced..various things ranging from extreme modern..'shape throwing'.. i certainly didnt get it! and then tango and marengue and lots of dancing such as ''çheerleading''where they were dressed in top hats and gold jackets and danced with ribbons.

The dancing was the respite between truly awful musical interludes that everyone else thought were great because they were romantic songs that they could sing along to.. but the vvocals were reminiscent of the car crash tv of the first rounds of x factor.. The volume was also turned up so high that by the end i was reduced to rocking back and forth in my chair with my fingers in my ears..and the other volunteers were in similar situations..

There was one band flown in from guayaquil called the gonzalez brothers who were the kind of way a band in a pub is ok. but the volume was so loud. Also the lead singer had a comb over which lifted up and waved around in the wind,,

That was the other was freexzing cold and rained intermittently and having come straight from my theory lesson i wasnt prepared for being cold. Also something we thought would take an hour took four hours..till half eleven at the end we all felt shell shocked.. being freezing cold watching 15 year olds parading half naked on stage and then a either being deafened or puzzled at what the dance was supposed to be left us exhausted!!

At the end when we nearly couldnt bear any more we were saved by the young children..prob about ten years old doing a bollywood dance which was the best dance of the evening and hysterically funny. Also I had a surreal moment in which I has life brought me to be watching a beauty pageant with south american children bollywood dancing on a remote island in the pacific? very strange..

the beauty pageant bit itself was strange too.. These girls (and boys) paraded around in different outfits..casual sport, forma l etc and then gave their spiel about what they would do with the title, and then one of them in evening wear got elected. There was one girl out of the three who had no support. The other two had banners with photos of themselves blown up to twen times lifsize and crowds of people cheering for them, but one had no was the five of us cheered and screamed as loudly as we could for some funny looks. So I might not have helped at all in the hospital but maybe helped a little at a beauty pageant!!!

After we finally escaped we all needed time to recover and food and recuparation time on the water front!

Saturday was my next diving day..theory in the morning and diving in the afternoon. The currents hare changing at the moment and there is cold water from the antarctic coming through.. That day was cold. The other problem is that my dive centre only has male wetsuts and although he says it is me who is a strange shape..its just because these male ones fit on the hips and are huge on the waist so let cold water circulate which makes me cold. so i had two on and they still didnt really fit. Being cold really affected the dive I couldn't really concentrate and i started to feel scared. We were trying to do exercises filling the mask with water and emptying it underwater which i hated because i kept breathing in water and feeling like i was going to one point i panicked and swam for the surface which is totally the wrong reaction. Logically i know im not going to die but when I was breathing in salt water and are under the sea and freezing cold so cold I couldn't think straight, it felt like I might!
So when i got out the guy told me it was a state of mind but my lips stayed blue for almost two hours afterwards so I knew I was really cold!

Made up for it by going to the barbeque again..i think i mentioned it before but its a great place, for 6 fdollars you get two huge pieces of fresh meat and rice and beans and potatoes..beef or pork or fish or lobster...delicious

sunday was much more pleasant. I went with the nice tour agency on a snorkelling boat trip which was spectacular. I also had a ladies fit wet suit which actually fitted and despite being thinner it kept me much warmer.
First stop was isla lobos. The first bit of the snorkel was full of tropical fish and sting rays swimming around
the second part was even better..about 7 sea lions came and played with us swimming around and right into your face untill you think they must be about to crash into you,, but they are so unbelievably fast and agile in the water they dont. Its somtimes scary though!
Then the last part we found about 6 sea turtles..huge ones, grazing on the algae on the sea floor. The were totally calm and had no fear..we could swim right up to them and watch them..but it was really hard to get down because the bouyancy of the wet suit means you have to fight to sink. They reminded me of cows,, just slowly munching away and grazing along..

Then the next snorkel site was the best..its called kicker rock and i f i pass my course I would love to dive there, Its a rock out to sea formed from volcanic ash. The sea was a lot rougher out there, and the waves scared me a little, but it was so very worht it. The first time we swam the channel..which is where the erosion has separated the soft rovck into two.. we saw nothing, so we decided to swim round it on the outside..we were definitely rewarded! About ten minutes later a school of 20 hammerheads swam underneath us, about a persons depth below us..they are huge about 3 m and so strange looking was such an exciting experience, I was at the front with one of the guides and by the time they got to the others they were much deeper, so a good reason to always be at the front. Another highlight for the memory bank!!!
Straight afterwards a huge shoal of tuna passed throiugh. They are very beautiful..shimmering colours,

Then we saw lots of starfish on the walls of the rock and the water was filled with tiny transparent jelly fish, so fine they almost didnt exist, but some had iridescnet specks in them or pulsed light..All sorts of shapes, not just the standard with tentacles but also long ribbons, cylinders and blobs!

To finish we swam through the channel again and this time we saw about 10 galapagos sharks swimming below...

lunch was at an idyllic beach,, golden sand turquoise water...sun..sea lions and marine iguanas, Ithen it was time to go back to port for icecream and to the mtas part.

I was so tired and i thought i had been so good with the sun cream..until i looked at my hands and feet...which ahd stuck out of the wetsuit and were burned...(


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