Another early morning on the farm, it was the first night we had the house to ourselves, so pressure was on to run it properly. We did the usual farm tasks which we will get the hang of but it’s frightening obvious that neither of us are farm people.
Today’s adventure would take us to Tortuga Bay which would work out about a 10km round-trip of walking. The best way to describe Tortuga Bay is untouched paradise over run with amazing, unique wildlife. It takes about 1 hour to get there from Puerto Ayora and there is only one track in and out by foot, but was it worth it? My god, yes!
I slept like a baby last night. From 8pm until 5am I was out for the count even if we are in twin beds and I didn’t have my safety blanket which is Leo. I think we will like it here, but time will tell as it’s very early days. Jimmy our host is great, he is a tour guide and diving instructor AND speaks English well, so I didn’t have to pretend I could speak Spanish, even though I have been learning, it’s crap.
For breaky I had porridge, peanut butter and a banana – which later realised was a over ripe plantain which is similar but more like potato. It was an average attempt at a good breakfast and I will improve as our need for routine begins.
Our work here is mostly to just be here overnight to watch the farm, be company to the dogs as well as feed the animals so overall, we are in for a pretty easy time. We chose this as we want to learn more about the locals, get a cultural experience and I guess be more than just a tourist – OH, and save money, did I mention save money?? So, this experience may be exactly what we need.
We started our working day around 9am with feeding all the chickens and making sure they had sufficient water as it is so goddam hot here. I expected early 20’s and it’s in the 30’s so my little Scottish bod is melting. We also helped Jimmy vaccinate some chickens with chicken pox, which BTW was horrifying as the disease on people is gross but on chickens is another level. They have these scabs all over their face that we must pick off and then they bleed, then we cover them in bright purple anti-biotic liquid. 10/10 one of the grossest things I have ever seen.
Next, we checked out the horses and made sure they were all good and then headed off into the bush to go find Huaba – looks like giant pea pods but filled with a wet looking cotton wool with a big black seed in it. It’s apparently a fruit, I tried it, very weird texture but the horses and dogs love it. What was funnier is that Jimmy made Leo climb this big ass tree to reach then, he was literally hanging on while hitting these pods with a stick. More funny Leo stories to come…
On the farm we also have so much sugar cane, bananas and eggs so we will never starve which is great news but with all these tropical climate plants come with it some pretty knarly looking tropical bugs, insects and of course spiders – SO MANY SPIDERS.
6am the next morning we were up and ready to leave for the Airport to catch our flight. We had met a lovely taxi driver Carlos the previous day and he offered to pick us up for the rest of our time in Quito and for a pretty great price so of course we agreed - thank god for WhatsApp!
After checking in at the Airport (which is a bit of a process if you are flying the Galapagos) as you have to stand in a bug queue to get a tourist visa which costs $20USD, get your bags searched and scanned and this is all before you even start the check in process - just an FYI for anyone travelling soon. We booked with Avianca as there are only 2 companies who fly here – Avianca and Tame. Both are similar in price and, generally $300NZD per person each way taking about 2 hours.
That’s when the news arrived – mum messaged, and dad’s shoulder had become much worse overnight. They were heading to the hospital with the potential of heading home depending on the diagnosis as the pain was excruciating and he couldn’t function. I was devastated, in fact that doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt, even when writing this am still in absolute bits. I have been waiting years to be able to travel with my mum and dad and to visit Galapagos with them was a dream come true. However, them flying home was and is the best thing, regardless of how much I wished they were coming here with us.