Tuesday, April 9, 2019

From Isabela to San Cristobal

Today was a travel day- Isabela Island back to Santa Cruz Island and then on to San Cristobal Island. There are no ferries between Isabela and San Cristobal. 

We were up at 4:00am. We checked out of the Cerro Azul Hostel. We were happy with our accomodations there. What it lacked in decor, it more than made up for with its cleanliness, price, helpful staff, convenient location, handy clothes line, sitting areas, balcony and comfortable room and bed. This hostel seems to be expanding with a new level being added to the top....in island time. 

By 5:00am we were at the  ferry dock. It was still dark out and I almost stepped on a sleeping Iguana. They were all over the place and almost impossible to see on the pathway unless you were specifically looking for them. The benches on the dock were empty....I didn’t know where the sea lions were. I checked first to make sure there wasn’t an “ode de marine beast” smell on it before I sat down in my clean shorts.

We took a water taxi to our ferry...the Neptuno, the same one that brought us to Isabela. One of the staff handed out barf bags to all who wanted them. Despite John and I both taking a Gravol, I still took a bag...you never know.

Dawn was breaking as we left Isabela Island. I was asleep before the island was out of sight.

John woke me as we arrived in Santa Cruz at 8am. The trip took two hours. 

We dropped our luggage off for the day at our old hotel, Hotel Espana, as our ferry to San Cristobal didn’t leave until 2pm. We went for breakfast at Tropic Bird. Of course we needed to visit the fish market. It was later in the morning so the action was a bit more subdued but the same suspects were still on the scene; sea lions chomping on fish skin, pelicans, a heron, marine iguanas, frigate birds, eagle rays and crabs.

After grabbing an ice cream (which was 25 percent less than in Isabela), we headed to Lago de Ninfas which is a lagoon surrounded by mangrove trees around which is a boardwalk. There was a lot of bird life and fish were  jumping in the clear, brackish water. 

It was much cooler there in the shade so we just relaxed and enjoyed the beauty. We found a quiet place on the boardwalk where I laid down ....and promptly dozed off.

Before catching the ferry we stopped at a Trip Advisor recommended deli where we had pizza for lunch. Pizza for some reason is rather pricey here but I have been eating so much seafood that I was craving something different. 

While waiting for the water taxi to take us to the ferry, we saw a ray jump out of the water. He jumped a good three feet. Very cool.

The ferries between the islands are quite civilized. They run like clockwork and are well organized. The seats are cushioned and comfortable. The boats are not large,  usually with a capacity of between 25 or 30 depending on the boat.

Our boat to San Cristobal was the Tropical Bird. On this boat you get a free bottle of water along with your barf bag. During the ride we were followed by a school of dolphins performing their aerobatics in the afternoon sun.

Once we arrived in San Cristobal I noticed sea lions everywhere. There was even a beach blocked off to people because there are so many sea lions on it. I think there are more of them than us.


Our hostel, Casa de Jeimy, is a few blocks from the harbour. It has good reviews and is clean with A/C in the rooms and wifi in the lobby. The only problem was we couldn’t find it at first as it’s on the second floor and there was no sign at street level. We kept walking by it with our luggage until I asked a lady and she pointed up the stairs. 

Right after we booked into our hostel, we went to book some tours. I was disappointed to find that the albatross are not at Espanola Island right now...it is not their season so we changed plans and we are doing what is called the 360 tour around the island where we may be able to see the red footed Boobies and hammerhead sharks.

We grabbed a beer and went to the dock to watch the sun set. The quiet was broken by the constant braying & belching noises of the sea lions. There was also odour of sea lion in the air. I never tire of watching them.

I asked the guide the other day, “what is the difference between a sea lion and a seal?” Apparently sea lions have greater movement of their necks and they have external ears. Sea lion moms usually mate again 20-30 days after giving birth. That means they are usually pregnant for 11 months of every year...yikes. Pups can nurse for up to three years...double yikes.

After dark we went to a recommended restaurant called Lucky’s. It was quite good.  

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