Floreana Island's giant turtles and pirates caves!

Trip Start Feb 06, 2012
Trip End Feb 29, 2012

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 13 - morning

Day 6 of Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands

It must have been way past midnight or even later when I woke up, I'll never know but one thing that I definitely knew was that the entire room was completely pitch dark! Nothing could be seen or even heard inside the cabin!  Thinking that something was terribly wrong or that I had completely lost my eyesight, I kept blinking and rubbing my eyes but still, nothing could be seen!  It was still very dark and quite scary for that matter!

The air conditioning was off, so was the small light right in front of my bed from the alarm clock!  I soon realized that the electricity wasn’t working anymore!  By raising just a little bit my head from my pillow and looking through the window’s curtains right next to me, it was totally pitch dark outside, nothing could be seen, not even a faint ray of light!  I felt like this helpless tiny little creature in the middle of nowhere under the mercy of Mother Nature!  

Even though nothing could be seen, I wasn’t deaf though; the light thundering splash of the waves nearby could be heard confirming to me that I wasn’t dreaming; that I was still here and quite alive!  Whewww!  What a relief it was!  This is what they call being adventurous!  Ha, ha, ha!  Talk about excitement in the middle of the night!

Our bags had to be out and in front of our cabins by 6:50am, so Michel and I both got up much earlier!  The electricity still not working made it harder for me to see in semi darkness and fix my hair without the use of the hairdryer!  Groan!!!   However, you’ll be happy to know that by 6:30am, the switch must have been turned back on because once again, we were back in civilization, we had electricity; we were back in business!  Hurrah!    I later found that this was the normal procedure done on the island past midnight in order to save energy!   Had I known!

We had breakfast at the same place where we had dinner last evening where eggs and toasts were served with coffee and juice!

It was now time to explore this mountainous jungle of Floreana Island and off we went once more riding in the back of the overland safari truck!  Our first stop was at a giant tortoise area called "Asilo de la Paz" whatever that meant where we proceeded to follow our guide down a muddy trail in search of giant tortoises.   As the old saying goes, if you can’t find them in the ocean, you’ll find there here on land or did I just invent that!   Ha, ha, ha!

I was right though!  Many tortoises ranging from small to huge were seen to everyone’s delight.  Again, pictures were taken without touching them as they just kept on eating the tall grass around. 

Continuing on, we made our way by hiking to the very top of a mountain where we had an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean surrounding us!  It was totally breathtaking. 

Being one of the Galapagos oldest islands, Floreana Island definitely didn’t disappoint me when we then hiked anxiously to the pirates’ caves.   Yes, you heard me correctly!  Pirates’ caves right here on Floreana Island!  Cool!

Amazingly, I glanced at mazes of tall and skinny volcanic rocks with narrow gorges separating them.  Now, I understood why the pirates hid their treasures here; it was quite an ideal place for it!  By walking around, I could have played hide and seek with Michel and he never would have found me, however, he was much too busy looking for the loot!   Ha, ha, ha!  And no, he didn’t find anything!

As much as it sounds creepy, as we walked in between these gorges, in one area a bone’s surface could be seen sticking out from the ground’s rich brown soil.  Thinking that it was probably the remains of an animal, our guide blurted out as he stepped on it that it was part of a skeleton bone of the mean old baroness…….  “Yep, you heard me correctly” he was quick to reply to me!   I guessed she really wasn’t liked at all….no wonder she disappeared along with her three lovers never to be seen ever again, except that now, I knew where she was hastily buried!!!!!  Was it truth or fiction!!!

Stopping along the trail  right next to a huge volcanic rock that a face had been carved out of, it looked quite amazing and quite ancient with all of the green forest moss growing all over it!    For some reasons, it reminded me of the statues on Easter Island!

Thinking that it was quite ancient, like maybe ruins from an ancient civilization dating some 2000 years ago, I was disappointed to learn that the rock carving was just around fifty years old having been carved by one of the settlers here on this island!  Dahhhhh!   Regardless, the rock face carving still looked quite amazing so I had my picture taken right next to it, well…..several! 

After quite a thrilling and exciting morning, it was 11:30am when we all had boarded the speedboat and headed towards the open ocean where more adventures were just waiting for me to be discovered!  We were now heading towards Isabela Island, the biggest island of the Galapagos!  Yeahhh!

Glancing back at Floreana Island for one last time, the island still looked quite mysterious and creepy as it guarded silently its dark evil secret from the past! 

Monique   :-)

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