Huddled under our soaked towels in the mother and child pose, the boat went up with the swells of the Pacific and back down pelting us with its sprays. We had made the unfortunate decision to sit on the top deck seats. The back rest was only four inches tall so I had a two hour abdominal workout. If we didn’t keep the towel around us the sprays slapped right into our eyes.
Two hours later, our soaked and sore bodies were very relieved to see Isabella Island. We anchored and took a water taxi to shore. Our guide met us at the dock and I bought Fierce some Titans (Oreos). Our first stop was to see a tortoise rescue. It happens to be mating season and we actually saw the deed. They only mate once a year, so I guess we came at the time. It’s the beginning of the “winter” season here, although the islands are at the equator so it’s pretty warm by the afternoons even on days that it rains.
A little later, we walked a beautiful path where the guide pointed out maracajino fruits, cytranella bark, white and button mangroves, etc. It lead through a pond-like area where flamingos and other birds were enjoying their day. The last bit of the path was covered in iguanas. Then we rounded a corner, crossed the street and encountered a gorgeous view of the ocean. The black rocks under your feet are all from the lava flow and the patterns are amazing. It looks like the lava was just frozen in time. This lava is from the eruption of Sierra Negra only a little ways away. The guide said we had five minutes, but Fierce had taken off his shoes and I let him run in the water a bit. I really wish we had more time in incredible landscape.
I was famished, so if we had to leave at least if was for some delicious Galapagos fish and rice complete with maracaju juice. After lunch, the taxi picked us up and brought us to the beach next to the docks. Sea lions were resting in the shade of the trees in little colonies. Fierce loved the little pups and I thought the one sleeping on the bench was pretty great. Our guide brought us to a water guide for the snorkeling adventure.
I saw a lady with kayaks and gear and made sure that Fierce would be ok to stay on the kayaks safely. When you book a tour here, they just say you are going snorkeling. They never mention what you are going to have to do in order to snorkel. I was a bit taken aback, but we suited up and climbed aboard. Fierce sat in front of me, sort of in my lap, and the guide was behind us, but in the same boat. There was another couple in one kayak and a mother and son duo in a third kayak. We kayaked across the bay and the guide brought us up to the rocks where the penguins live. There were so petite and adorable. Seeing them in their natural habitat really was special. Later, we tied all of the kayaks to an anchored bowie. Fierce and one lady stayed with the kayaks. The rest of us jumped in the water. We stayed right with the guide as she pointed out a sting ray, a shark, a whole nest of blue footed boobies that were standing so I actually saw their blue feet! I saw sea cucumbers, a tiger eel, and lots of parrot fish. This event was not for the faint of heart/body…It was a workout! I didn’t have fins so the guide actually took a hold of me at two different occasions to get by the currents. At the end, I was absolutely exhausted and thought, wow, I must be out of shape. However, the teenage boy said he was tired and wanted to go back too, so I didn’t feel quite so bad. We lifted ourselves back into the kayaks and paddled back to shore.
Isabella Island has more of a Caribbean feel with more palm trees and sandy streets. It is also less inhabited and so you feel more away from it all. If I ever came back, I would spend a day or two just at the beach and see the Sierra Negra up close. Also, we definitely sat on the bottom of the boat on the way back and arrived “home” nice and dry. lol OOOOOh, and as we stepped back on shore we saw that some ladies were performing traditional Ecuadorian dances. We stayed for a bit and watched. That was a really sweet and fun way to end the day.