Friday, November 21, 2008

San Cristobal, turtles, iguanas, fish, and birds

The Galapagos Islands.

We are on the San Cristobal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador.
What a dream!!! This plaze is uniquely amazing. Cathy, my mom, and I are here. We got here on Tuesday from the ´´main continent.´´ We spent the first day relaxing and looking around. San Cristobal is the second largest populated island(5000 people), after Santa Cruz (10000) and before Isabela (2,000 people). It is a volcanic island and it is not spring here, so it is a dry hot climate with semi-cold waters. The islands ecotourism efforts are immense. Advanced recycling program, conservation of land, water, and the animals that inhabit land and water, fossil fuel minimized, and trying to lessen their ´´footprint´´ Alhtough the three of us have decided that there are plenty more of precautions they could take to maintain these islands to the max, it is pretty advanced compared to other parts in the world.

So far we have visited many places and SNORKLED tons!! Our first full day we did a loop that covered three main spots away from the little town. Westarted by going to La Galapagueria- the gigant galapagos tortoise reserve where you can see these old big animals in a semi natural environment. From there we continued on to Playa Chino. Playa Chino is a fine white sandy beach with sea lions and snorkling. We say tons of fish, a sting ray, and a baby turtle while snorkling. From there we continued on to El Junco. El Junco is the only fresh water reserve on the island. It is made from rainfall here. We hiked up the hill to see the lake. Cathy feel on her butt and hit her head 3 times!!! It was muddy thats for sure. And mom fell face first down the hill. That afternoon mom and I went to Playa Mann, the closest beach to town (which also has the University that Julie went to while she was here) We went snorkling here as well. This beach had tons of sea lions, they are everywhere here, people and sea lions inhabiting the beach together peacefully. Nothing like La Jolla Cove. This place stresses the natural version of everything, not our [clean controlled version in the states. Speaking of inhabiting the baeach together, here{s a story... Mom and I are out snorkling and we are coming back and thereis a male sea lion approaching our stuff, he actually went up and basically sat on all our stuff, towels, back packs etc... Well shoot, what do we do???? Even our room key! So we have the clever idea to get it back somehow. While everybody is watching us on the beach, mom tries and sneaks up and take it. Ya the Sea lion was NOT having any of that!!!! He charged mom and started barking at her to back OFF. So mom runs back to me, not to mention everybody on the beach laughing at us. It was great. After about 3 attempts, he finally left, and we were able to get our stuff back. We found our cool bar that we like to hang out with our friendly bartender who makes the ´´best´´ margarita on the island, according to my mom the margarita conosiour.
The next day my mom and I went to the beach called La Loberia, named after the sea lions. We met a local guy here who offered to show us how to walk there. The beach was filled with many things. When you first enter you see all the black lava rocks that make up the coast here, and if you look very closely you could see some off colored things. They turned out to be the galagagos iguanas. Scary looking, calm animals. On the actually beach there were the sea lions chilling on the beach soaking up the rays... and the snorkling was really good. Filled with tons more fish and a variety of other things. We enjoyed there until early afternoon. Then, made our way back to show mom a traditional ecuadorian lunch- soup, rice beans chicken and juice for 2.00. That afternoon we went with Cathy to a diffferent beach on the other side of the harbor called Punta Carola (named after Mom....who knows :p ) Snorkling here was beyond amazing. The water wasnt that crystal blue water you get in other places, but your swimming along and come along a group of turtles!!! There were turtles of all sizes, babies, adolescentes and then huge turtles with shells the size of a coffee table. I actually was swimming with three turtles at one point, the water was filled with them. As well as a sea lion swimming right by me .
That night took mom out for a little taste of Ecuadorian dancing. Salsa is the popular music...but we{ll have plenty of time to check out the discoteque dancing scene here. All in all, we are all three having a great time and enjoying this unique place. Moms taking pictures, so not to worry. We´ll keep you updated...

sidenote: Cathy keeps an eco blog and she has been writing more about the ecotourism here. Check it out and she would like to put a sidenote that if you need to buy anything from Amazon, go through her site and click it her make money .

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