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Published: August 5th 2011
I woke up this morning with a very sore throat and I realized that I had brought a whole bunch of medicine for serious illnesses, but none for a simple cold. But some hot tea and some Halls cough drops later and I was feeling better. We had another 2 hour boat ride this morning to reach Santa Cruz. It is not a big island, but has the largest population of 20,000. When we arrived we took a bus to the highlands to visit a sugar plantation. They treated us very well and we got to see how they got the juice out of the sugar cane and then how they either boiled it down to sugar or let it ferment into the sugar cane alcohol. We tried some straight sugar cane, very sweet but good, as well as some coffee beans with a bit of the sugar which was delicious and I would have liked to take some home, but I didn´t want to have to carry it for the next few months. The sugar cane alcohol was slightly less delicious and very very strong, although it supposedly has medicinal properties and my throat was actually feeling better after I tried a bit. We returned to town and to our hotel where we had some down time until dinner. I took a nap and when it was time to leave I just didn´t want to get up, so I slept all the way through to the next morning.
Once again I woke up with a sore throat, as well as no voice, but I felt way better after all that sleep. We only had one night at that hotel so we packed everything up before heading out for the morning to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. It is another tortoise breeding center as well as the central research center for all of the galapagos. Personally I prefer sea lions and turtles over the tortoises since they just sit there, but they are impressive animals and are far older than me so I guess I have to respect them. The main attraction of the station is Lonesome George. He is 80 years old and from one of the northern islands. Just looking at him he is like any other tortoise but the sad fact is that he is the last of his species in the world. He does have females in his pen with him but tortoises from two different species cannot produce offspring, so George can never be a father. At lunch we had a delicious seafood soup, probably my favorite meal in the galapagos so far, besides ceviche of course. Then it was back on the boat for another 2 hour ride to return to San Cristobal. When we got there we went for our last snorkeling trip. There wasn´t anything new to see, but the sea lions were very interactive with us as well as with each other. Two of them created a sort of underwater ballet with each other which was a beautiful thing to see. We returned to our first hotel to clean up for our last night here. Dinner was a big production, a sort of buffet with all kinds of meat and seafood available. Our guide as well as another woman from the group gave toasts to the trip and everyone agreed it was a great tour and a wonderful group of people. Tomorrow morning we leave early to return to Quito.
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