Exploring the Tourist Capital of the Galapagos
Trip Start Jan 18, 2010
28Trip End Apr 11, 2010
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Where I stayed
After we picked up our luggage we squeezed onto a bus filled with tourists. Everyone in our group had a lot of luggage and we could tell the other tourists were frustrated with how long it was taking us
We walked down to town to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants and got a chance to soak in the culture. It was a lot more "civilized" then I thought it was going to be. The city of Puerto Ayora has a population of almost 20,000. There is a very interesting mix of wealth in the city. You could walk by nice well furnished homes and then next to it will be a little shack with kids running around with no shirt or shoes. One thing I did notice, was that people seem relatively happy and welcoming. This is something I wasn't used to from my experience in countries in the Caribbean. I tried at every chance I could to have a quick conversation with someone that we met to work on my spanish. Although people smirked a little they were happy that I was at least trying to speak their language.
After eating a nice meal consisting of cream of colliflower soup, and curried beef we took a walk around the town. We saw some fisherman who were cutting up the fish they had caught and were selling it right on the dock. As I got closer, I noticed that one of the spectators looked a little strange. With closer inspection I realized that there was actually a sea lion watching the fisherman. The sea lion would stand on its flippers and beg for fish
We then took a short cab ride to the Darwin Research Station. There we got a chance to see some Giant Tortoises, and giant means GIANT. Some of them were 100 or more years old. It was unbelievable to see these huge creatures so close. We got to go right up to them and see them walk a few times. They didn't move a whole lot as every step or movement looked like it took a ton of energy. Also here I walked down a pathway to the beach and got to see a ton of marine iguanas. They were everywhere! The iguanas were not the prettiest creatures, and their spitting was also unattractive, but it was cool to see a species of animal not found anywhere else in the world.
We walked back from the station and got to walk around for a while, and purposely got lost in the city so we could see some cool stuff. We then took a shower and headed out to the kioskos to grab some more local cuisine for dinner. Every tv that we passed by was tuned to a soccer game, obviously a very big deal here. This dinner was excellent. Petter and I shared a skirt steak with eggs sunny side up and a fried shrimp dish with papas fritas. The water was not as friendly as the other locals we had met, so we didn't get to talk to her too much.
I finished off the night on the roof of the hotel, where I wrote this blog from. Played some guitar and did some star gazing after my eyes adjusted to the darkness. These will get shorter, just had to write a lot for my first day.
GOING SNORKELING TOMORROW!