Back to Santa Cruz

Awoke in the busy harbour at Puerto Ayora. Again saw the luxury 1920s boat ‘Grace’; once owned by Princess Grace of Monaco. The website doesn’t tell you the price.

Golden rays in Puerto Ayora harbour

Drove up to the top of the island to visit the 2 craters that sit either side of the road. Actually not craters but collapses into cavities within the old lava flows. Good for scalesia forest and mosses. Some quite dramatic changes in climatic zones as you go up the hill.

Said the goodbyes.

Diverted our returning pick-up to visit the local tortoise farm. Although there are plenty of tortoises visible from the main road, this was worth doing. I had the chance to try on some tortoise shells (very heavy and cramped) and we watched them enjoying a large mud bath.

Unlike the tortoises in the breeding centres, which would move towards us expecting food, these hissed noisily if you got too close and retreated into their shells. Also a chance to see some rather strange lava tubes.

Trying on a giant tortoise shell

Rest of our time on Santa Cruz spent moaning about internet speed, looking for souvenirs and admiring the fish market. Had our one excellent (if expensive) meal at the newly opened Anker Mar to Table. Sophisticated ceviche, octopus, belly pork and tuna.

We spent our free day doing the other walk; past some salt evaporation ponds and mangroves to a narrow swimming gorge. The bought picnic to walk again to the beautiful Tortuga Bay, with its large breakers, numerous marine iguanas and quiet lagoon.

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