Eventually got the underwater footage to upload.  Glad that I managed that as we don’t have wireless on Isabella.  Things will be published from here upon our return to the UK.

Last morning on Santa Cruz a little sad.  We were just getting used to the layout of the town, the pace of life, the people in the shops and restaurants, the marine iguanas, the special Tortuga bay, the wonderful breakfasts of chocolate Scotch pancakes and cheese, followed by fruit, with wonderful Ecuadorian coffee and fresh juices – sounds weird, but do try it if you get the chance.

Spent the morning buying a few last minute presents – very few shops on Isabella, and walking around the town.  In particular went to the CDRS again as well as the fish market where we saw a bill fish – it looked totally out of this world, almost cartoon like. Just 100 yards down the road I came across a poster urging fishermen to throw bill fish back if they caught one. I do eat fish (mainly when eating out) but don’t think I could eat a bill fish steak, not having seen this magnificent beast.

We checked out of the hotel and I managed to spend 20 minutes on a sun lounger by the pool listening to the Doves.  So year 11 – that was my holiday bit of the trip – you can’t begrudge me 20 minutes!

Then it was lunch and down to the harbour.  Our cases were checked to make sure that we weren’t smuggling wildlife or moving fruits, or anything else with seeds etc that could contain invasive species.  Then we were packed onto a speedboat and set off for Isabella.  A bumpy ride, but saw 4 dolphins as we were pulling out of Puerto Ayora harbour – a fitting send off from Santa Cruz.

Arrived at the lovely natural harbour on Isabella.  We were wondering as we went through passport control what the policeman was doing bouncing a ball when there was a dog tied up getting really excited about it.  It was a sniffer dog – trained to look (not the correct verb – sniff, smell?) for smuggled wildlife etc.  Anyway, we had nothing to hide.

Short drive to our hotel.  Right on the beach, I can hear the waves crashing as I am writing this.  Palm trees with hammocks – a wonderful setting.

Our guide, Julio, took us on a quick tour of the town (village really) – a square with restaurants and thats about it.  Finished with the soda lake with flamingos – absolutely beautiful.

Trekking up to the 2nd largest caldera in the world tomorrow.  Sturdy shoes, 1.5 litres of water, sunblock, sunglasses, long sleeves needed.  Apparently it should reach 35 degrees C when we reach the summit.  The view should be amazing…

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