As we arrived at the dock with the water taxi, we were a bit surprised to see a sea lion lying on a bench, where normally the tourists wait for their fast ferry. He did not seem to be afraid or bothered by all the people who wanted to take a picture of him.
The same with the black iguanas on the waterfront who were not afraid of the tourists. Later we found out that this was not a single case. It seems that Galapagos belongs to the animals.
It is the uniqueness of the flora and fauna that makes Galapagos so extraordinary. Especially the small differences from one island to the other. That’s what Charles Darwin was fascinated about and today this uniqueness is protected. The people here rely on ecotourism. Everywhere the waste is collected separated bins and partly taken to the mainland for disposal. In order to protect the islands, the freedom of the cruisers is heavily limited. So we were limited to anchor in Santa Cruz and we had to take a fast ferry for $ 30 per person to get to another island.
For example, we drove to Isabela for two days, where our sailing friends were at anchor. Together we went for a walk to the flamingos and giant tortoises. The children could play together and they did not realise how far we had actually walked.
We have good memories of swimming with the sea lions. It is an unforgettable experience when the sea lions come so close and play with you in the water. However, one should not come too close to the little sea lions when the mother is nearby. You can see this in our video. (later because Internet too slowly)
In Santa Cruz, where we anchored with our Bajka, is the Darwin Station. There is a research and conservation center, but there is also a museum and a turtle breeding site. We have been there several times, once even with all the children from the other sailing families. Once I thought I had seen Charles Darwin in person, but it turned out to be an older bearded tourist.
Another special attraction is the local fish market because of the sea lions and pelicans waiting for the leftovers and sometimes they can steal a whole filet to the annoyance of the people. Here is a small video. (later because Internet too slowly)
Our American sailing friends are surfers. So we went to Tortuga Beach together, walking along the narrow path for 3km. There we enjoyed the big waves breaking on the long sandy beach. There is also a large lagoon where children can play and swim. Not far from the anchorage there is a natural basin in a ravine called “Las Grietas”. The water there is not so salty, but cold.
At 5 pm the village elite in volleyball (or fistball) meets on the main square to play a match or two. Afterwards it’s free for the children to play play on the square. The challenge for them is to climb the quarterpipe. In the beginning Nael had to help Ilian until he was able to climb himself. They wanted to play there every evening.
Galapagos is a beautiful magical place where people and animals live together in harmony. In Panama we met many sailors who did not want to go to Galapagos because of the costs and the paperwork. Anyway, we enjoyed it very much in these over 2 weeks. Especially the children were thrilled to see the different animals so close.
For the past few days we have been preparing for our longest crossing, the 3000 nautical miles to Marquesas. Our Bajka was cleaned and checked. We bought fruit and vegetables in the market “La Feria”, where you can get local products. It is only open on Saturdays, but it opens in the morning at 4. So get up early, if you want to get the best stuff.