Galápagos cruise, day 5

Monday 15th January

We awoke to a bell at 5:30 to find ourselves in a calm sheltered area next to Archipel 1.

Most of our group embarked in the zodiacs for our final excursion to Bachas Beach. It was a wet landing! Once on the beach we dried our feet with small towels we had sat on. We were just in time for a final sunrise. Lovely!

Again it was fascinating to see plants like this cactus growing up in the cracks in the volcanic rock.

Our walk along the beach was a quiet one. We saw quite a variety of birds

and the odd crab. Some iguanas were already up and enjoying the warmth of the sun.

The sand had lots of small shells amongst it. A small isle just offshore had a lone tree growing on it.

After a while we returned to take the zodiacs back to the boat, reversing things by taking off our shoes to paddle to the zodiacs.

A lovely buffet breakfast preceded gathering our things and leaving the boat. Farewells to the crew involved lots of hugs and kisses. Our captain, Mario, giving big bear hugs. Baggage firstly, then passengers secondly, were taken ashore in the pangas. A bus arrived shortly after and we were soon at the airport. More farewells to most who were taking flights directly out. Mark and Erin, like us, were returning to Puerto Ayora. The familiar face of our Galápagos Travel Centre rep, Mardie, taking us on the bus, barge taxi from Baltra to Santa Cruz island

and Toyota Hilux taxi down the island of Santa Cruz to the Hotel Espana. This time we were only two levels up, again in a corner room, number 33. Spent some time catching up on emails etc now that we had wifi again, albeit very slow. Headed out to buy lunch. Picked up some very cheap toasted sandwiches. After lunch headed round along the main road to the Charles Darwin Centre. Parts were closed due to siesta time but we managed to see some land iguanas

and various types of giant tortoises of all sizes.

Sadly their enclosures didn’t look that wonderful but at least they are trying to run a breeding program for all the animals on display.

We walked back via the main street shops to Hotel Espana. Checked for emails on the very slow and unreliable wifi before taking a late afternoon nap. Out to dinner in Charles Binford Street to the street kiosks. Ate next to Sol y Mar Pizza at the ‘pirate restaurant’ with its bright blue and white tables and chairs. I had a hamburger and fries, Karen ate grilled eggplant with melted cheese on top. This time I tried the Club beer. Back to room 33 for a much quieter night’s sleep.

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