Thursday, October 30, 2014

I caught one!

Piranhas that is! We are in the Amazon in Ecuador at a wonderful lodge. The chef (and the bartender) are amazing. Food is some of the best we have had on the trip.

Our room
Up at 5:30, breakfast and then off on a gentle 5 hour trek this morning. We climbed a tower to take us to the top o
Our balcony, lloking over what is called a black lake. Toxic to mosquito larvae! 
of the treeline and saw some amazing birds!
Many banded aracari

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sharing takes on a whole new meaning

Our book reading patio in Santa Cruz.

View from our balcony.

Looking back at our room.

No matter where you are, you share space with a sea lion or an iguana.

more on Santa Cruz

The Charles Darwin research station is located on Santa Cruz. It is filled with birds, native plants , lizards and, of course, turtles. The land igauna is a beautiful golden colour. It doesn't seem to make any noise. Can't tell in this video of iguanas if it  is a mating dance or an aggressive stance. You be the judge..


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Rich, from our group, picking out his lobster.
Santa Cruz is the main island. Over 7000 people live here, but it's hard to tell. Rush hour is 4 cars waiting to make a turn on the main road.
Food is very good and reasonable. Lots of fresh fish as you might have guessed. There is even a restaurant where you can cook for yourself the fish you purchased at the local market.
We went with the group to a street that is filled with tables at night - an open air restaurant. You choose your fish or lobster and they cook it there. Delicious!
We have had 2 days on our own,  so have finished 2 books. This lead to a panic moment for the Handyman, but the local hotels always have discarded novels from tourist trying to lighten the load and he was able to acquire a new thriller.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bucket list panic moment

Well I have been lucky with my bucket list....
1 dive Bali -√
2 see a lion fish√
3 visit Thailand and dive √
4 visit Cambodia√
5 see Macchu Picchu√
6 see a mola mola (sunfish) thought it might happen yesterday
7 see a whale shark- ditto.

I was getting a little anxious that I might complete the list it.  But 2 of my items relate to downhill skiing which my knees can no longer stand! So I don't have to die yet!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Variety is the spice of life

There is a certain sameness to our days - hike ,snorkel, boat ride. For the first few days it was a choice of tuna (over cooked) or chicken each meal, until last night when they offered swordfish! I reminded these people on the eco tour that swordfish is endangered, but I didn't sway anyone's choice!

We dove yesterday at Tortuga rock. Now isn't that a name remembered from pirate tales! We saw huge manta rays, flying over us, and of course, turtles. There was a hammerhead shark at the end of the dive, but I once again only saw tail. We did have dolphins swimming beside the boat on the way back! That is supposed to be good luck!
We finished the day with happy hour at a beach restaurant under a beautiful sunset. Perfect!
I think this is a blue footed boobie.

 Birds call this rock home.
Tortuga rock

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Floreanna, the Galapagos islands

Pink marine igaunas litter the streets.
We arrived, after a 3 hour boat ride, to spend the night on Floreanna island, haunt of pirates. Before the 3 hour boat ride over, they asked if anyone wanted to ride up top with the captain and The Handyman and I quickly put up our hands. I guess the people in our group had no experience with boats, so they didn't know the view was much better up above.
There is fresh water on this island, but it can only sustain about 150 people, so that is the population of the island.

We stayed overnight in cabins on the beach. Our group had all the rooms. We snorkled with turtles and stingrays and finished the day drinking beer while watching the sunset over the equator! A nice long sunset with beautiful colour.
The next day we toured the highlands and surprisingly, it was full of greenery, growing all kinds of fruit and coffee (all introduced). We saw a colony of land tortoises - huge! This colony was started and maintained by the locals. The tortoises are about 70 years old. They posed well for still photos. We had no trouble arranging our shots!
Floreanna island,  the mainstreet of town.

The view fom our cabins.

Turtles on the wild.

Big land tortoise.