The day started early for, disembarking at Puerto Ayora, and for an early visit to a farm where giant tortoises are known to traverse, despite the farm being private property. But as the guide said, the tortoises were the original owners of the Galapagos, so who’s traversing who’s land?
Bidded farewell to the crew and boarded a bus at Puerto Ayora that drove up to the highlands. The highlands in Santa Cruz is about 700m above sea level, and despite low lying trees (compared to rainforests anyway) the climate differs greatly from the coast: shrouded in mist and cloud, it is almost perpetually drizzling, even though it is now dry season in the Galapagos. The farm was muddy and we had to put on wellington boots. Spotted 3 tortoises, with a huge one at the last spot, probably bigger than the ones we saw at the Darwin Research Station.
Thereafter, crossed the Itabaca Canal and reached Baltra island, to be herded on a bus to the airport. As the plane finally took off after the high tourist traffic chaos at the check-in counters, I can’t help but feel an aching twinge of sadness. The past 8 days were heavenly and I’m additionally blessed to have experienced it in the company of a dear friend.
I came, I saw and now I’m leaving the clear blue waters, the islands of my dreams.