Following a quick breakfast, we headed down to the harbour to catch our boat to Isabela Island.
The trip is around 1hr and 45 minutes which is a great opportunity to spot more wildlife. It is really everywhere in the Galápagos and as we passed large uninhabited islands, a huge pod of dolphins came to see us, much to our joy!
Isabela island is the largest island of the Galápagos, but has only the third largest population (behind Santa Cruz and San Cristobal) with a little under 2000 inhabitants.
We went straight to our campsite to drop off our things. We weren’t allowed to take our bags into the tents which was a little annoying and everything was quite spread out in that the tents were at the back of one field, our bags in the communal restaurant area in the middle and then the showers were the furthest point away from the tents (but more on those later!).
It was beautiful surroundings, but the tents were quite old (some with holes in!) and there were a few screams (from the boys) when they discovered spiders in there! The joy of camping!
A quick change into our hiking gear and we were ready to roll!
It took about 30 minutes by truck but we also had a quick stop to collect a hot packed lunch (chicken, rice and juice) to eat before we set off up Sierra Negra.
The Highands were incredibly misty, but still very humid. I wore my waterproof jacket for all of 10 minutes before tucking it away in my rucksack.
This was at the bottom of the Volcano where we tucked into our lunch.
Misty huh? And that is just at the foot of the volcano!
Us campers were begining to feel that when we reached the top the visibility would be poor. Lucky for us, the clouds cleared at just the right time and we could see across the top of the crater.
Yes, my legs were that pink! – Please refer back to the top picture sunbathing on the journey across from Floreana in the morning!
We descended 2 hours back down the volcano soaked to the bone. It was beginning to get dark and the mist was coming down. We were all ready for a hot shower, food and an early night!
Unfortunately for us, there was no hot water at the camp and there had appeared to be a spider invasion in the bathroom! I decided to skip the shower all together and wait until morning in the hope there may be some then (there wasn’t).
The food that was served though was AMAZING – Shrimp, rice, potatoes and roasted vegetables with delicious melon for afters. It sounds simple and unexciting but it consisted of such good, fresh ingredients. They also had beer available which we were all grateful for after the long day.
At least i had a full belly.
The group chatted for a couple of hours after dinner. Playing cards, drinking beer and rum until our eyes could not hold themselves open.
The next morning was incredible scrambled eggs (tomatoes and onions mixed in!) and we headed to town to spend some free time in Puerto Vilamilli. We took Fernando’s advice and followed him to a lagoon for some snorkelling.
As we were getting changed next to the lagoon, the cutest little sea lion came over to say hello.
He was missing an eye but still had more than enough personality to make up for it!
He even decided to remove people from the bench by sitting on them!
There is a ‘2m rule’. Meaning you are to stay at least 2 meters away from the animals. The problem is, the animals do not always stick to this rule!
Then on a nearby beach, we hired a kayak. You can’t just paddle around as you wish. You need a guide to do this which is hired within the cost (about $20 per person for 1.5 hours).
I would strongly recommend doing this if you go! It was one of my favourite things we did! It game me my first glimpse of Penguins and Blue footed boobies and it was hilariously good fun!
Before collapsing into a heap!
In the afternoon we walked through the town’s wetlands to visit the Tortoise Breeding Centre. We stopped by at the largest coastal lagoon in the Galapagos which is also a breeding ground for Flamingos!
In he evening we ate pizza and headed to a local beach bar. We sat by the fire, did some ‘slack lining’ and drank beers and Mojitos until midnight.
We booked our trip to the Galapagos Camping Adventure through G-Adventures