Caren Ware's Blog

May 11, 2012

Happy we are on Isla Isabela

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 5:50 pm

Galapagos Islands has a ‘s’ so Rick sent me on the smallest of planes to another Island.  4 of us crawled through the window and sat behind the pilot who was putting duck tape on an instrument panel made around WW11.  We bumped through rain and clouds to finally soar over the open ocean in this prop plane. It was thrilling. The pilot and plane seemed experienced at this. Out of the clouds and onto a postage stamp runway, an hour later I was on another more amazing, more remote island.  Isabela has one town.  Dirt roads were lined with a few open air nooky restaurants that lead to the hotel that was right on the beach.  Albemarle was surprisingly pristine, charming, with large rooms that opened to palm trees, soft sand, and the most inviting opaque blue ocean.  The breeze was pleasant.  The sun solid. The sound of crashing waves just enough.

As I pulled the doors open to let the beach in, two sentences. “I wish I wasn’t alone.  It’s good to be alone.”

The gal at the front desk gave me the run down that most tours had already left for the day, but I could stroll without a guide down this mile stretch of beach and over 3 miles out along a national park road to other playas, lava tunnels, cactus groves, and tortoise waddling grounds. I got to spend the morning totally by myself plodding through bath water warm surf.  Red crabs must have good eye sight.  Long before I could reach them they would bop into their sand holes.  I don’t feel good today.  Not sick.  Just tired.  From all those days of no sleep and the travel.  I find some shade from a bush over hanging some tide pools.  I rarely afford the opportunity for a nap, but my body is giving me no choice.  I heed the warnings because, for the first time in a long time, I can.  Five minutes into the ‘rest’ an iguana jumps down from his hidden perch and runs across my leg.  That is hard to sleep through.  Ten minutes into my attempt to remove lactic acid from my limbs, a pelican dives down snatches a fish from the lagoon.  Liking the location, he proceeds to take a long, splashy, noisy, luxurious bath.  When a little black crab bit my toe, I gave up.  I’m in the Galapagos.

There’s a little boat port 10 minutes walk out of town.  I was told I could get a boat ride out to the brim of the port and see penguins??? Johan, a handsome teen, was willing to take me in his dingy for $20 bucks.  I rented a mask and snorkel for $5.  I was trying to sense if he  really was that excited about the animals and his island or if he was doing so to entertain me…the tourist.  I think a little of both. “Look, Look…a baby manta ray.  He will be big someday.  Look. Look.  Look.  A turtle.  He will take another breathe.  Picture. Picture.  And look.  The penguins.  They are happy. So very happy.” A couple of penguins are mating on a rock.  He explains his world to me in half Spanish with a few English words.  I respond back with my few Spanish words mixed with English…and we communicate.  He throws an anchor out and motions for me to get ready to snorkel.  He lashes a huge diver’s knife to his calf. Catching my eyes, he assures it is only in case a shark approaches.  Galapagos sharks…the ones that are not suppose to molest. Hmmmm again.

After viewing fish, Johan laughingly motions to the boat.  The anchor had freed loose.  We swim after the boat.  Once aboard, he gets a serious tone and proceeds to tell me how tourism has come to their island and made everything good. “Mucho dineros”.  He looks at my left hand without a ring and says I could find a Galapagian to marry and then build a big house on the beach…and be happy, happy…like the penguins.

“Oh, look, look.  There’s a blue footed Boobie.”

I finally felt the furry of the solid sun as I trodded on the dirt road back to the village. After being out and about all day, the baking on my back let me know I better respect this near the equator sun.  When the wind stopped, and the clouds moved, it had a demon effect.  I could tell it could do fast damage.  How much faster could this damage be during a marathon?  Didn’t 4,300 drop out of Boston this year because they feared what the unexpected heat would do to them?  And here I am…on purpose.

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