Day seven: Santa Cruz, Galápagos

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A sea-lion and several lazy pelicans entertained us at the fish market last night stealing off-cuts from the fisherwomen. We were also entertained by the local fashions and the various blue footed boobie merchandise – clearly hilarious if you’re a seven year old boy.

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This morning we borrowed some ill-fitting wellies and went off to see giant tortoises and explore lava tunnels on Santa Cruz island. We were driven just past Santa Clara to a lush green farm called Rancho Primicias where there are hundreds of giant tortoises roaming on their land. We simply weren’t prepared for the size of them – they ARE GIANT, some over one hundred years old, and they are literally dotted all over the place.

Next stop: we walk down some steps under the ground, through giant lava tunnels directly underneath the ranch, created hundreds? thousands? (sorry I wasn’t really listening by then) of years ago.

Here’s our video of the lava tunnels.

Later that afternoon we head off on foot to find Tortuga Bay – no map, we just follow our noses. How hard can it be, it’s walkable, westward and just along the coast?

Fail. We hit a dead end and don’t find Tortuga Bay. Instead we stumble across a mangrove lagoon and learn about red and white mangroves, salt and fresh water lagoon ecosystems and how young fish and sharks hide in the water with mangrove roots to avoid predators.

Tired and hungry, we head home with a small detour to a little shop to get totally ripped off on some just-about-within-their-edible-life-vegetables and wander back to do some creative cooking.

Excited about tomorrow – we have a snorkelling trip to Santa Fe booked.

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