Puerto Villamil, Galapagos Islands
What a wonderful time we’ve had here! Whilst the wildlife takes centre stage the scenery is also fantastic and the people very welcoming and friendly despite being permanently over run by tourists. Still, its time to move on and today we have been provisioning for a passage that will take at least three weeks, possibly longer. We have decided to head for the Gambier Archipelago in French Polynesia rather than the Marquesas. Why? Because we like to be different. Distance wise they are about the same i.e. a bit less than 3,000 Nm, the same as crossing the Atlantic.
As soon as we arrived in the Galapagos we had our mail sent here. It still hasn’t arrived so we’ve left $20 with our agent and he will email us when it does. A great pity as it has Sheryl’s new Kindle in it.
Now here is a story about the kindness of strangers. There is a Swiss boat here, MAYA. We’d seen them in Baquerizo Moreno but never met them. On Friday Herbert came over to introduce himself and have a chat, where are we heading, things like that. As luck would have it they are also going to the Gambiers. We talked about having cash in the Gambiers as both of us had been told you can’t get any there and I mentioned that we hadn’t been able to get any here because there isn’t an ATM here and the Western Union system was down because of an internet failure on the island. Two hours later he came back with $400 US and gave it to us! It was a loan, of course, but what trust! He and his family were catching the ferry back to Puerto Ayora to check out so I gave him my cash card and asked him to take out $500. We’ll sort things out when we meet again in the Gambiers.
We’ve decided to do a sneaky little cruise through the most westerly islands here, you aren’t supposed to but we aren’t going ashore and won’t be causing any damage to anything. So thats it from me for at least three weeks. I’ll update August when we get to the Gambiers.
Tuesday 6th September
Rikitea, Gambier Archipelago, French Polynesia
We arrived here yesterday after nearly a month at sea. I’ll post a short account of the trip in September’s page but here is an update from the last couple of days in the Galapagos.
After leaving Puerto Villamil we cruised up the west coast of Isabella, largely in the hope of seeing some whales. We didn’t see any but the scenery certainly made the diversion worthwhile…
The western island of the archipelago are the youngest and this is obvious from the bare lava flows and lack of vegetation on the arid hills. Here you can see part of a lava tunnel. The last volcanic eruption was only one hundred years ago.
We anchored off Isabella on Sunday 8th August and on Monday continued north between Isabella and Fernandina. Late afternoon we got boarded by Galapagos Officialdom. As noted earlier we shouldn’t have been there. I protested innocence in my broken Spanish and as we were already heading out to sea got away with a telling off and have a safe trip (in Spanish).
September’s entry is here.