The Galapagos, Exploring Floreana Part 2
Once more into the Chiva. There are a few of these Chivas around the island. But only a few. I think I saw 2 others. Not being operated.
All of the ground in the area around this little port town is lava rock. You can’t very easily dig into it. They must have had some heavy machinery to make the few roads, but once they were made, they are not going to degrade. What would degrade them? They are hard rock many feet deep and there are very few cars to drive on them. It doesn’t rain much and the water that does fall leaks through the rock and doesn’t appear to run on the surface much. We are also on the dry side of the island. Running along the side of the road that leads to our hotel is a plastic 6 inch pipe. Our water supply. It just runs along on the top of the rock. I think this explains why the cold shower water was so hot that day we arrived. The water was sitting in that pipe in the heat, probably all day, because there was no one in the cabins to use the water and get it flowing. It was never that hot again during our stay, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was actually cold.
|The roads, and New Solar Electric street lights|
|I couldn't figure out why all of the Volcanos were named Zero Volcano.|
Turns out that Cerro means "Hill"
Pablo tells us the story of the land. Floreana is one of the oldest islands. It was formed long ago and has been much weathered over the eons. It was once a single big volcano. That is what is now the entire central highlands, with that pond as the middle of the core. The core collapsed and formed a rocky stopper. The next eruption took the easy route and blew out the sides creating all of the little parasitic volcanos; the little cones that dot the island (including the one we are standing one). The central core sunk down and formed a place where the fresh water could pool, and so making the pond and the spring.
|Looking across the collapsed old core. See all of the parasitic volcanos?|
|Frigate Bird. Female, Mature|
|Pretty Flower, White, Pink lines|
|Darwin Daisy (?)|
|This is looking over toward the uninhabited side of the island. Post Office Bay and the like. Note the many Dive Boats|
|Claudio's Farm Hand road to work|
|One of the Papaya varieties|
|Claudio Explains things to us. In Spanish|
|I ask William a key Question|
|Man eating Monster. Stay back|
|Yucca, post-pull. All of that vegetation in the background is the yucca crop|
|Claudio (left) and Pablo explain Yucca-ness. Claudio has a Machete.|
1) They skim small fish right off the surface of the sea. Not an easy thing and not their main meal.
2) In season, they eat immature Marine Iguana. Yum.
3) Their main meal, they follow other birds and harass them into dropping their fish, and then catch it in the air. For this they are called the Pirates of the Air.
You see? Pirates again.
Here is your Video:
The frigates have to come to the fresh water not only to drink, but also to get fresh water sprayed on them to wash the salt off their feathers that accumulates from their close calls with the ocean. If they don’t do that, the salt will accumulate and will get too heavy to fly. (I need to do some research on Frigates. I think they were named because the shape of their chests is reminiscent of a similar construct used to provide the sailing war vessel of the same name with it’s sailing qualities).
|Wack Wack Wack Snack|
Claudio owns and runs the farm. He may own the water source, that is unclear. He probably owns the pirate caves and surrounding land. He definitely owns the Lava Lodge. He probably owns the kayaks and the Chiva and parts of other things. He is a big guy on the island. And he runs this tourist business that consists of renting out the lava lodge and providing eco-tours with quality experiences on the island. What an interesting guy. Did I mention he is always smiling?
There is another thing going on, there is another family on the island. They are also residents from way back. One of the first families on the island, from Germany. They own the other big hotel on the island and they have a murder mystery in their history. There is a film you can watch about that. The Galapagos Affair
The general story is a fake baroness and her three lovers. A bath in the drinking water. A lot of bad blood. Some dead people. I will watch the movie and let you know.
There seems to be a lot of competition between the Cruzes and the Witmers. It seemed like there was not much love lost there. But once again, that may have been my poor Spanish filling in the gaps. I need to go watch that movie. Claudio is one of the stars, don’t you know.
We got to see the Widmer’s Hotel from the outside as we had our afternoon outing of snorkeling and kayaking on the black sand beach out in front of that hotel. My partner and I helped bring the boats over this time. A quick launch through the surf and a ten minute paddle over to the beach. A very nice black (mineral) sand beach. William took us snorkeling. I remembered that the smart way to get into the water on a sandy beach is to walk in carrying your flippers and put them on once you are floating beyond the breakers. We swam along the sea wall over to the area where we had first made landfall. Lot of fish in the water. More Turtles!! But we also saw some small sharks down with the fish and my partner was just thrilled to have an immature sea lion come over and buzz around her. It startled her at first, but she was quickly laughing and enjoying the visit. It was a really fun time. We went out again later by ourselves just to do more snorkeling and swimming. And it was deliciously cool.
|Black Sand Beach From Water|
|Taking the boats back to the Lava Lodge|
That night we had a barbecue. Once again, Claudio was our chef. We had calf from his farm along with many other grilled goodies. All in all a very wonderful day on this quirky little island. But now, we need to go pack. We get up VERY early in the morning to catch that same little speed boat to take us on the 2 hour run over to Isabella. Don’t forget to take your seasickness pills !!
|Sunset from our Porch|
|Our Last Floreana Sunset|