Friday, August 3, 2018

Galapagos part 2 - Los Tuneles and Cabo Rosa, Isabela

We took a speedboat from Santa Cruz Island to Isabela island. Isabela was the least developed of the three inhabited islands we visited. It was actually a bit of a dump. The main road was dirt and we lived near the end of it, with some broken down shacks. We were a few houses from  this rooster that cock-a-doodled from 12:30 am to 8:30am every night. It sounded like it was in our backyard. Earplugs did nothing to block this sound. 

That night Paul had food poisoning too, and it ended up being worse than what we had on the boat. He was sick for three days. The next day we were supposed to go on our highlight day tour to Los Tuneles. Leo was recovering from being sick and paul couldn’t hold down water so they stayed in bed. I went alone and it was jaw dropping. It was like being in a zoo but without the cages. We boated out to the Cabo Rosa lava tunnel area which is not very deep, snorkeled and saw several caves where White tipped sharks sleep. It feels like invading their living room. We’d dive down and The guide Eduardo would hold us down (because our wetsuits were so buoyant). We swam with 5ft white tips and especially smaller black tips that were curious about people. There were some giant sea turtles, a seahorse at the bottom attached to a branch of old mangroves. It was incredible to see this many megafauna in one dive/snorkel trip. The water was cold even though we had wetsuits and when we got back in the boat for a ten minute ride to Los Tuneles, I shivered, teeth chattering the whole time.

White tips sleeping in their cave:

Black tips coming to check us out:


Sea snake:


Galapagos penguins

At Los Tuneles it’s skittle colder but clearer. A penguin swam with us when I jumped in. We swam in some flooded lava tunnels and caves. Then we dried off and walked on the lava. A’a lava, which is what the Hawaiians call the lava that’s hard to walk on. The Spanish adopted Hawaiian terms. We walked to where the blue footed boobies were nesting and saw a tiny baby under its mom, about four days old. We saw two boobies doing their mating call. The males whistle and show off their tail feathers and wingspan and then stomp their blue feet. 

The boys decided that night that they’d try the same tour. We had originally been scheduled to climb the Sierra Negra volcano but it was erupting a bit so all tours  were cancelled. I could have done some hike or trip by myself or do the same tour again with the  boys so I opted to hang with the family. 

Second day tour was amazingly the same. The boys froze to death too and paul opted out of the Los Tuneles snorkeling because he was so cold. But the seahorses were where left them and the white tips sleeping in their caves and the tortoises still in the shallows. This time we dove into Los Tuneles and swam through the tunnels which was cool. And cold. And we didn’t get a good view of the baby booby. I keep telling Leo you have to pee to keep the wetsuit warm.

Leo and I are the two on the right:

Leo and I had a great time with the sea turtles. This is me checking him out:

And posing while everyone sticks a GoPro at the guy:

Leo taught the turtle how to dab:

Family at Los Tuneles:

Yellow pufferfish:

Leo at Los Tuneles:

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