Wednesday, January 14, 2015


We're on the move again.  Decision has been made.....Thursday we will drop our lines from the mooring ball, and head over to Isla Isabela, the second-most western island here in the Galapagos, and the largest one in the chain.  As far as where we can go, this island will be the most remote, so yesterday we topped up a few things we had used up since the we left Bahia on December 27th.

1) Diesel - We emptied 3 of our 5-gallon jugs into the tanks, and took these to town.  We thought we'd try to be sneaky and see if we could wrangle diesel for the local price, rather than the extranjero rate.  We told our taxi driver that if he'd buy the fuel at his $1.02/gallon rate for us, we'd give him a kickback of $10.  We think we're so clever....the authorities are sooooo onto us.  We first had to head to the Port Captain to get a paper authorizing us in fact, to buy the diesel.  With paper in hand, we hightailed it to the station, made our deal with our driver, and attempted the impossible.  Nope, as we didn't have our passports with us, there was some consternation, but a quick call to the Port Captain assured them we were "authorized" to purchase the fuel.  As far as a deal.....that wasn't going to happen.  We think it might have been possible if we were trying to buy gasoline, but the diesel identified us as "furreners".  I was relieved however, as we only had to pay $3.23/gallon, unlike our friends down in Salinas, that had to fork over close to $6 for their international status.  While in Bahia, we had filled our tanks 10 gallons at a time, as the gas station guy didn't mind charging us the $1/gallon rate for a small amount, even tho it's supposedly illegal to do so.  But....filling our 200 gallon tanks, for $200, rather than $1000....we were willing to try any sort of finagling.  Here, not so much.  When we initially arrived, we had to let them know that we might be wanting to buy a bit of fuel, so we were on record requesting a few gallons.  Although we had told them 15, we were able to get the guy to put in a bit more (paying more, of course) but we got 17 gallons instead.  Where we are going, every bit for the future will help.
2) The inevitable booze top up was required, as well.  In two weeks, I had gone through 3 boxes of wine, so those needed to be replaced, while I could.  Ron had managed to also go through a few beers, so 48 bottles were bought, along with a $10.70 bottle of rum.  The Ron Abuelo was $18, so we'll see if the $10 will only be good for stripping varnish.
3) Vegies - most of our fresh stuff was gone.  I still had onions, potatoes, a carrot, and a rather dubious bunch of celery.  We topped up the potatoes, got a few green apples, some bell peppers, and a bag of 20 WICKED hot yellow peppers (I'm not sure what those'll go into but getting anything spicy in Ecuador is a challenge (impossible to even buy Chili Powder in the major supermarkets), so I always jump when I see anything picante.  We managed to get a very green pineapple for the future, and 10 tomatoes, that are absolutely beautiful (unfortunately, they have no flavour whatsoever).  Added to this was another 5 pounds of potatoes, and a handful of limes.  I think the bill came to around $30.  Can't give an exact number, as we were buying from 3 different venders all at the same time, and money was getting handed to many people.
4) Eggs - Despite the risk of cholesterol overload that the media warns us of, eggs continue to be an important part of our diet.  I try to keep it at a dozen per week for the both of us, which includes baking, but sometimes an egg is just too easy to grab to make a hot sandwich, or to scramble into a breakfast burrito.  I had saved our empty cartons, so we took these along to the mercado and topped up with an additional 5 dozen.  We aren't too sure what we'll find over at Isabela - better to be safe than sorry.
5) Coffee - If you've been reading this blog, you know that we have a bit of an obsession with coffee.  We thought a nice souvenir to take away from the Galapagos Islands would be some of the home grown stuff, a little bit like buying Blue Mountain Coffee when you are in Jamaica.  We had been waiting to go back to the little man we had talked with last week while he was raking the beans on the concrete, drying them out.  (that's a bad sentence...but you get my drift).  He ushered us into his storefront (see the little door below, on the right?), and we proceeded to make a deal.  $5/pound....not bad! 

Professional drying facilities
Fancy Storefront - Organic, no less!
Let's many pounds do we want?
Twigs we get thrown in, no charge
All 6 pounds, bagged up and ready for roasting
Bolivar has been notified that we are on our we just need to store the bikes, buy a souvenir t-shirt or two, and get underway.

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