Chilled out bliss
Puerto Villamil Travel Blog› entry 89 of 123 › view all entries
After a day or chilling out in Puerto Ayora, Amanda and I decided to head over to Isabela island for a few days. The boats only leave once a day (at 2pm, $30 one way), but boy are they fast….they are like speedboats, crashing over the waves at full throttle! If you get sea-sick, I wouldn’t recommend it! But 2 hours later, we were on Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. Its nowhere near as touristy as Santa Cruz, so it has a different even more laidback feel about it. The streets are sand which just typifies the relaxed way of life here. We found ourselves a good deal at the end of the beachfront in Puerto Villamil (the main village) at ‘The Jungle’ where we bartered them down to $10 each a night for a private room with hot shower - result! Amanda managed to lose our room key within minutes of us leaving the hostel, then lost her sunglasses (again) and her camera (which luckily I found in the internet cafe).
Our first full day was pretty chilled - we had some admin to sort out in the morning (including a rather confusing phone call to the Aerogal call centre to change our flights!), before we went on a bay snorkelling tour in the afternoon. It was only $15 through our hostel and it was only Amanda and I, so we had a private tour for a bargain price! We got to see some more penguins, and some sharks, but again we couldn't swim in their 'resting' area - damn it! For dinner, we met up with Shala (US) and Mandy (Aus) who we had bumped into at breakfast and also found some more gringos (Matt, Andy and Chris, 3 American guys in the Peace Corps) and had a few drinks at the Sea Lion bar.
The hostel also offered a tour to the Sierra Negra volcano ($30 including lunch), so on our final day we got our hiking legs out. Shala and Mandy joined us and after an hour 4x4 ride to get to the last acccessible village, Carlos, our guide, got us on our way. When we first got to the crater edge after an hour or so, we couldn't see anything - it was just grey mist and cloud - what a disappointment! Carlos quickly reassured us that you can never see anything from this viewing point and miraculously about half an hour later the sun came out and we had perfect views over the whole 12km beast of a crater - an awesome sight I can tell you. We had a good laugh walking with Mandy and Shala, despite the boiling heat, and the time flew by as we hiked up to Volcan Chico in the midday sun.