From the National Geographic Endeavour in the Galapagos
Oct 11, 2012 - National Geographic Endeavour
Santa Cruz Island
We have spent most of our week isolated from the rest of the world. Huge Isabela protected our noble National Geographic Endeavour from any news, good or bad. We had our own little reality, inhabited by Bryde’s whales, dolphins, penguins, cormorants, creatures of the western realm of the Galapagos. It’s like after the sight of a Blue whale, nothing in the world would content us.
Today, we know, we are going back to civilization, as Puerto Ayora is the largest inhabited town in this archipelago. I can see our guests’ faces, their doubts. Do we really need to see a town, walk the streets, and find more people? But Santa Cruz happily surprises everyone. It is a lovely island, with children walking the streets, picturesque little shops, and a most interesting fishing dock. This is part of our expedition, to learn about the way people live and care for this place. And what better example of caring than the National Park Tortoise Breeding Center, where we saw the success of a program that has repatriated more than 5,000 tortoises back to their home islands.
In the afternoon we biked, we visited a sugar cane press farm; we walked in the highlands in search of more tortoises – but this time, in the wild. And we loved Santa Cruz! A talented local group that dances and plays music came onboard, and the stars were shining, and our hearts were fulfilled.