Day 12 - evening
Day 5 of Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands tour
I couldn't be more pleasantly surprised and thrilled at the same time when we arrived at the lodge for the night. Let’s just say that the accommodation was something that I wasn’t accustomed to but that I was very much excited and open minded in experimenting something different on this trip! In other words, being adventurous as they call it! Ha, ha, ha!
The lodges were the "Red Mangrove Lava Lodges" built entirely in pine wood from the mainland man made forests. Twelve of these small cabin lodges were in a row along a large wooden boardwalk and this you’ll never guess where; right in front of the Pacific Ocean just fifty feet away. Wow! I could see right away that I was in for an un-forgetting evening!
Settling in the small lodge, it didn’t take me very long to take a very nice hot shower and change of clothes. The lodge was comfortable enough having the basic necessities plus most importantly, air conditioning. By hurrying up, I quickly left the lodge with Michel behind being so anxious to explore the exterior’s surroundings.
Walking towards the ocean, I felt totally free as a bird as it was so peaceful and quiet except for the splashing sound of the waves crashing on the shore’s black volcanic rocks! In the horizon, the sunset was making the sky on fire as its rays pierced through the greyish clouds. Looking around me, those nasty little red and black crabs crawled on the volcanic rocks probably thinking I couldn’t see them as they scattered hastily in all directions with desperate hopes of hiding from me! Unknown to them, I was as much afraid of them as they were of me! Ha, ha, ha!
The group met around 8:00pm in the center of the lodges where a huge terrace complete with a tent’s roof and chairs made it look quite cozy. The camp fire was already lit spitting fire in all directions while the burning wood crackling sound echoed into the darkness of the night. The entire place looked just like a scene right out of a horror movie where one would expect something to suddenly happen!
Settling right next to the camp fire, I was kept warm even though it wasn’t that cold outside. At least I told myself, it should keep the bugs away from me if ever there were any! And no, I didn’t see any! Ha, ha, ha! Beer was passed along as well as juices and water! To eat, there were small snacks like peanuts, nuts and chips. Being a very small group, we all enjoyed each other company as we exchanged travelling stories that each one of us wanted to share.
Now being our guide's turn in telling us a story, he definitely added drama to it by whispering in a low creepy voice the history of the island; a history full of mystery and evil as we all listened attentively around the camp’s fire in total darkness! Cool! How thrilling can this be!
Continuing on with his story…he went on saying that Floreana island had a self-described “Baroness”, and that she was really mean and evil! That a series of strange disappearances including hers and deaths still unsolved to this day still haunted Floreana Island! Spooooooooky! With mouth wide open and big round eyes, strange thoughts passed through my mind at that instant…….while Michel, the little devil, tried to scare me by sneakily touching my back making me jump in the process!
There wasn’t any people on this island, our guide went on saying; we were the only souls here tonight with the exception of only one family still living on this deserted island. They were the descendants of the original settlers and had setup these lodges for tourism; it was a way for them of making a living! Aside from that, pretty much of the local wildlife became extinct due to the early settlers’ devastations!
I felt just like Robinson Crusoe on an isolated island or even better, Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island! Ha, ha, ha! The night being still very young, I told myself that it should be interesting enough to see what will follow!
While thinking that this was going to be our dinner for the evening, beer and snacks, I was glad to learn that no, it wasn’t! It was around 8:45pm when we all boarded an open safari overland truck and were driven down a rugged road in the middle of this dark intense jungle. Crickets or who knows what it was could be heard on either side of the road! Ha, ha, ha! There was suspense in the air and it could be felt deep within my bones! Yeahhhhh!
A middle aged woman along with her grown up children greeted us from the porch of her white colored comfortable home. In front of it, a huge terrace with a very long table with chairs stood nicely illuminated by the ceiling's lights.
Settling in, as an appetizer we all had delicious soup followed by chicken or beef with vegetables. Well, no thank you! Being the only vegetarian here, after a few other suggestions, I settled on scramble eggs that the very nice senora cooked especially for me under teasing remarks from Michel! Gracias! Dessert followed with coffee or tea and by 10:00pm, we were all back on the truck heading to the lodges!
With flashlights in hand, Michel and I were able to walk in total darkness to our small cabin lodge without any problems! The Baroness ghost was nowhere in sight! Ha, ha, ha!Monique :-)