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.
By midday I was exhausted, we had walked the farm, sweated half our body weight, I ground a full bag of corn to feed the chicks and I had been stung, bitten and molested by various different biting insects. Just as we thought we were done for the morning Jimmy pull out a bag of seeds and 2 huntsman spiders fell clean out the bag. He didn’t flinch yet, I nearly burst into tears.
I was so keen to get into town by this stage to message mum and dad that we gave up from there, caught the bus and made it into Puerto Ayora. We fell in love. Coming from Rapa Nui and Tahiti we didn’t have high expectations but my god they were all exceeded and more. The town is full of amazing restaurants, bars, shops, wildlife at your fingertips and great coffee shops. Managed to speak to my parents and they are being flown home on Saturday – we are both devastated but I just need my dad to get better and they can always come back.
Today’s activity included the Charles Darwin centre to learn about lonesome George the largest Pinta tortoise who died and therefore extinct in 2012. We were also able to get up close and personal with lots of other tortoises in the centre and it was fabulous to get to see these beasts in a habitat nothing like a zoo. They were happy…big, friendly happy tortoises. On the way there the wildlife is everywhere, we stepped over various iguanas, there were Pelicans lining the streets, sea lions taking naps along the road and frigate birds circling the sky. This place may be the best place I have ever been when it comes to wildlife diversity and it being so accessible – we are truly blessed to be here.
We are here for a month, so I doubt I will write every day, especially as we do not have WIFI here, so I can’t actually post any of these until we leave the island, but I did want to mention that tonight Leo got full blown attacked by a very angry mother chicken. One of our tasks is cooking meat and rice for Jimmy’s dogs – (they eat better than us) and putting the wee chicks into a box at night so the rats don’t eat them. This evening Leo took Hatchi, one of the dogs down to the pen with him to put the chicks in the box and everything went tits up.
The chicken went mental, bit the shit out of hi and all the chicks scampered. It was pitch black, so he had to take his top off and throw it at each chick, so he could grab them. He got back and descried it as one of the most stressful moments of his life – WHY DID I NOT WITNESS THIS??? I live for moments like this! Anyway, he is now covered in cuts and I reckon it will be my turn tomorrow. Time for my 4th shower today before bed - farm life is hard, but 3rd world country farm life in the intense heat is a different story.