Isabela

Our last stop in the Galapagos - Puerto Villamil, Isabela, Galapagos.  It is said that five active volcanos united to form the island of Isabela.  Also from 1941 to 1945 three strategic U.S. military bases existed on the island.

We had been told the visit to the volcano was not to be missed, however, to get there you had to drive for 45 minutes in the back of a truck.  On arrival at the end of the dirt road you got on horses and trekked for another 45 minutes and then you walked up into the lava flows and to an area that still has steam coming from the volcano.  Since Rick was still limping he was taking the truck, riding the horse and  waiting under a tree for us to return.   The biggest problem Rick has was his horse.  He was riding a white horse who must have realized Rick was "injured" and no matter what you did he moved at a snail's pace.  The rest of us were back at the truck, changed and drinking water 15 minutes before Rick got there.  We almost sent out a search party.

On to Sierra Negra.

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This was our first means of transport to the volcano area.  Adrian and Tris were picking tropical fruit from the trees. 

The next portion of our trip was on these lovely animals.  The saddles were made from rebar and rubber.  Not the most comfortable

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This is the family off of Steadfast, Adrian, Tris, Abby and Ben.  Wilmar is the serious looking gentleman who was our guide - very informative I might add.

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Wilmar was giving Abby information on
this area and the boys were trying
to crawl through
lava tunnels.

As we were walking through the lava area I
found this cactus in bloom.  Even in the barren
areas there is beauty.

 

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A group of volcanic cones in the north of the Sierra Negra are called volcano Chico.  The last two eruptions were in 1963 and December 1979.

As we headed back towards Villamil,
Rick took a picture of the volcano
Sierra Negra, the second largest in
the world.  It measures ten by nine
kilometers in diameter and
is 200 meters deep. (In US terms that's
19 by 16 miles and 650 feet deep)

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At the end of the day we headed back to
the hotel, Ballena Azul.  Dora, the owner of
the hotel (between Rick and I)
set up our tour.  We
had a wonderful shower and
a delicious dinner.  Tris took
the picture of us all relaxing

Again here in Isabela we had seen sealions swimming near the boat.  The boys off Steadfast told Rick they had gone swimming with them and that was it for Rick.  He had to experience swimming with the sealions.  There were several boats still in the anchorage and we all decided to head over to a beach area for a picnic lunch and to check out the local area.  We found the sealions in droves and also visited with the black tipped sharks, iguanas and the local crab community.  It was a very interesting day.   Below are some of the pictures we took. 

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These sealions were waiting to go swimming. 
They may have been watching Rick swim
with their cousins and decided to watch the
human rather than go swimming.

Now this little fellow was all tuckered out
after his afternoon swim. 

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Iguanas were all over the rocks.  They like the heat generated by the sun on the lava.

 

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These are very bright red crabs. 
We have tried many of the local foods,
however, did not try these. 
They moved too fast.

 

This canal was formed over the years
by the sinking of a volcano and the
flow of the waves.  It has become a
resting place for the reef sharks. 
On our walk to the beach we
saw ten or twelve resting in the canal.  The Steadfast boys swam with them, but Rick
decided to just watch

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Our final stop in the village was to the
Guardia who would check us out of
the Galapagos and wish us safe passage to the Marquesas.  This mural was painted on
the outside of his office

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We had a wonderful visit to the Galapagos Islands.  Of course we did not have enough time, but we needed to move on.  We would encourage anyone who has an interest in wildlife, flora and fauna to visit this incredible area and see for yourself.

Now we are off on our long ocean voyage yet - approximately 21 days from the Galapagos to French Polynesia.  More from us later. 

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