Galapagos day 6, snorkeling around Puerta Ayora

It was a rough night of sleep last night. 2 things kept waking us up: the noise of the airco, which was necessary, and the tininess of the sheet that covered us. We weren’t cold, but neither of us sleep well with no covering. Every time one of us moved, even slightly, the other would lose the sheet, and be woken up. I asked for another sheet at breakfast, which Judy agreed would be possible, but it hasn’t arrived, and I’m writing this from a bar at 22:00.

Actually, on that note, we probably shouldn’t be out. We have an early morning tomorrow, starting with 07:00 breakfast and taxi to the bus station to catch the 07:30 bus. More on that tomorrow. Back to today!

We woke up at 08:00, and made our way to breakfast shortly after, when we also notified Judy that we’d like to stay tonight as well. Then we put on our swimming suits, sunscreen, and hats, and headed out to rent snorkeling equipment for the day.

Our first snorkeling destination was Las Grietas, part of a volcanic crevice that actually extends quite a way underground. Las Grietas itself was a deep chasm between the rocks, mixed fresh and salt water. It was so cold getting in! There were some fish there, and lots of mossy algae-like stuff all over the rocks, but mostly it was a little reminiscent of the crevice in Iceland, where you can see very far below in a narrow gap. This was nowhere near so deep, but it was very clear until a certain point where it became obscured by silty darkness.

I remember in Iceland, our guide told us that people who are afraid of heights have a difficult time snorkeling or diving in the crevice, because the depth is so extreme and clear to see. I was more freaked out today by those obscured depths, and by the confines of the tall walls surrounding the water. I swam the length out and back, and while Matt did it a bit longer, I climbed out and sat on the rocks to watch. I couldn’t get to open water soon enough.

A local man arrived, swam a few laps of the crevice, then climbed up the walls in the middle to jump into the deepest area. I’d have happily jumped the same if I hadn’t already imagined myself into a state about those depths. I didn’t want anywhere near them.

When I was a little girl, I learned about hammerhead sharks, among others. In my imaginative dreams, or nightmares, they inhabited the lake in the park where we frequently went to swim and picnic, Millersylvania State Park. I was terrified, in my waking life, of swimming there for a long time. I remember clinging to the ropes marking the swimming area, hoping that they would obscure my presence somehow.

Here I am in the Galapagos Islands, hoping to see sharks, even hammerheads, while snorkeling in the ocean, where its indeed possible, but afraid of an inland crevice in which my imagination takes free reins.

After Las Grietas, we took the path back to the Angermeyer Point area, to return to town via water taxi. It’s an interesting walk, past an almost private beach by the Finch Bay Eco-Resort and salt marsh. On the beach, a rope marked an area forbidden to humans in favor of its current use as a marine iguana nesting grounds. We watched some very busy digging, as an iguana dug its nest in the sand, which few behind it.

Once leaving the water taxi, we hopped into a taxi-pickup and went to the beach by the Darwin Station. It’s a very small beach, with only a tiny patch of sand that actually accesses the water, surrounded by rocky outcroppings. We planted our things on a makeshift bench under the bushes at the back of the beach, added some sunscreen, and made for the water.

It was beautiful. We didn’t see anything phenomenal, but there were lots of interesting fish doing their thing along the rocks. It was clear enough within a few meters, nothing so clear as it had been during our first snorkel excursion on the Santa Cruz. I loved the surf, which nearly dashed us, as well as our fishy swim partners, into the rocks a few times. We stayed out for longer than we probably should have, since I can clearly feel fresh sunburns on the backs of my thighs. Again.

Eventually, we got up from our shady place and re-entered the humid heat. We walked back into town, where we had a quick unremarkable lunch, then went back to our hotel for a siesta. We didn’t leave again until 16:30 or 17:00, when we also climbed to the top terrace to see the view. Gorgeous. To the left we could see the Darwin Station and beach, to the right the port.

We’d seen a really cool-looking new bar-cafe, Buganvilla, at the bottom of our hill. It was decorated entirely with recycled and repurposed materials, and they were opening today, so we went there and had coffee drinks with cana liqueur. Yum. Check out the glasses… they are made from beer bottles, very cleverly done.

With a light buzz on, we went souvenir shopping, which is really the best way to enjoy souvenir shopping. We were successful, and also returned the snorkeling gear. After, we debated dinner. I had seen the Angermeyer Point Restaurant when we took the water taxi, and thought it’d be nice to enjoy its waterfront tables on our last night in the Galapagos. Matt took a little convincing, but agreed once we were there that the ambience and breeze on the water were worth it. Beer may have helped.

But seriously, look what I ate. Freshly caught fish with a sauce made up of other seafood. It melted in my mouth. Yum yum yum!!

After dinner we sorted a couple of necessities then hung out in an ice cream bar with ice cream cocktails until we were ready for bed. A fine last night!

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Location:Av. Charles Darwin,Puerto Ayora,Galapagos,Ecuador