We're settling in here at Puerto Baquerizo, and have already made a few friends. Boni (or some variation of the spelling) is the water taxi guy. An affable fellow, that apparently speaks some sort of garbled, mangled, and slurred spanish that I can only "just" understand, is as close as a channel 14 call away. After taking a look at the dock here, and seeing all the sea lion activity that we frankly have to avoid when we step from the taxi to the dock.....we've opted to leave our dinghy on the foredeck and utilize Boni's services for the duration of our stay. When we didn't have any money to speak of, we talked about putting the dinghy in the water, but now that we are flush with $20 bills, we'll continue to be lazy, and just use his services.
Yesterday was a lazy day. There is a unspoken determination to see "all" that this island has to offer, as we are only here for a week or two, but arriving on the 1st, officialdom and a visit to the Interpretation Center on the second day. Day 3 had us in the water snorkeling and a couple hours walk.....yesterday we needed to chill. Around 11am, we finally got our act together and decided that a comprehensive tour of the town would be just the thing, along with trying to find a decent internet signal we could access from the boat. It was Sunday, and after the past two weeks, it looked like the townsfolk were taking a much needed and deserved siesta. About 10% of the shops were open, and none of them had wifi. On a side street, we did find a farmer spreading out coffee beans to dry in the sun. We inquired as to when they'd be ready and he said he needed another 5 days. We hope to go back and buy several packages, and at $5/pound, we reckon that was a pretty good deal. We'll roast them ourselves along the way, perhaps when we run across some free power somewhere.
The day we went snokeling, we had seen a Hotel called Casa Playa Mann, and Ron said it had a pretty good wifi signal we could see from the boat. We popped in there, and although they usually didn't sell beer, we stayed for a few and got to know the owners and their kids, one of which had just returned from a year in Australia, going to University there on a scholorship. We told them all about this new documentary that is out, called "The Galapagos Affair: Satan comes to Paradise", which tells the story of a murder/mystery on Floreana Island. Jose had heard about it, so we copied it onto a thumb drive, and in exchange for their hospitality, we handed over the movie for them to enjoy. As they say, "their house is now our house". We've been adopted.
So the way that most people explore the Galapagos is in a boat that is based out of Santa Cruz island. You fly into one of two airports here, and then onto a mini-cruise ship, ranging from 4-40 rooms. In this vessel, you are toured around all the various islands, which can be a better way of seeing this area. With an Autografo, which we applied for and got, we are only allowed to stop at 3 ports. In any of the other locations, its required to have a guide with you, so on a personal sailboat, it's impossible. We've heard that these boats range from $200-1000/person/day, so we doubt that they are in our budget, but a few of the day trips we are going to go on, as they range up to $100/day. There is one we've heard of on Leon Dormides, which has you swimming with hammerheads, and huge manta rays. We'll keep you posted.....
Last night in our little anchorage here, we had 10 of these boats, all disgorging their passengers into runabout dinghies, and then ashore. With a roll of the eyes, we say "Tourists!", because of course now that we've been here for 4 days, we are "locals".
Today we are off to a place called La Loberia, meaning the place that the sea lions hang out. Apparently, there are lots of turtles there too. It's several kilometers away, so we'll take a picnic lunch, and our snorkeling stuff, and have a burn around the airport, which is in that direction, too.