After being back in Puerto Ayora we tried to figure out what to do with our last full day on Galapagos. Originally we planned to do a day trip to Isla Isabella, but we weren’t keen on spending at least 6h on another nutshell. Finally we decided to to a snorkling trip to Isla Santa Fé, with a visit of a nice beach on Santa Cruz on the way back.
The boat we had for this trip was again the “nutshell”-type, but only with half the amount of people. Weather was very good.
On the way to Isla Santa Fé we were able to do some whalewatching, which was unplanned and therefore a really good surprise. We saw a humpback-whale in full action and close-up. The view was better than on any other whalewatching tour before! I was lucky to get at least some good pictures – not so easy since the whale was fast.
With this amazing start of the trip we were looking forward to the first snorkeling spot. We saw a lot of fish, but only one sealion showed up for a short time.
Next spot – more luck with sealions. There were a lot of them – also some really big ones. The big ones are a bit scary when they dive towards you with high speed. I made a lot of pictures, but then I decided to record more videos. I filled up the SD Card of my waterthight camera quite well.
Last stop on the way back was a very nice sandy beach which was only accessible by boat.
This day was one of the best on Galapagos – even with the bad end: Eva and I both got a horrible sunburn on our back. First time on out trip that our Australian suncream factor 30 wasn’t enough. At that point we understood why they sell suncream factor 100 in some shops on Puerto Ayora…
After a quite rough ride with the nutshell (aka. “ferry”) we arrived well-soaked in salt water at the island San Christóbal. On this day the weather stayed bad, so except for dinner we didn’t leave our accommodation anymore – specially because we had to get dry and heat ourselves up. Not so easy when there is no heating and nothing that can be called a hot shower. During our walk for dinner we figuered out that Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is totally different to Puerto Ayora. Tourists are rare and most of the places that are made for tourists do not seem to want them. This starts already at the tourist information – they had no map of the town available and were not really in the mood to be interrupted during their private chit-chat for longer than absolutely necessary.
With some info from an Austrian woman, who spent some weeks on San Cristóbal to do voluntary work, we decided to do a half day trip with a taxi to some places along the island’s only main road. And we visited a snorkling spot in walking distance from the harbour, which would have been quite nice, had there been better weather… a highlight were some sea-lions joining us in the water.
After 2 nights we were happy to enter another nutshell that brought us back to Puerto Ayora.
Next stop after Big Island was Maui. A name that is in line with destinations like Aruba, Fiji, Maledives, Seychelles, etc.. We experienced very fast what the result of such a name is – higher prices and a bigger, really busy airport.
Lucky us that we arrived in the off-season. So we received also a bigger car than the one we booked. It was bigger, but I think it I´ve never drove a car that was ugglier. But it was good to handle and we managed somehow to drive 500 miles on this small Island. The reason for this was that we did a lot of activities this time which were located everywhere on the Island. And also our accomodation wasn´t that great that we felt a need to stay longer there than necessary.
So, what did we do:
– we drove the legendary road to Hana – in high season this road must be a completely jammed with tourists in their rental cars. The road is on the rainy side of Maui, so there is a rainforest. Here and there are nice waterfalls with pools that the People found amazing, specially for swimming. But honestly, after the waterfalls and pools in the Karijini National Park this was a bit lame. I mean water in the rainforest is not that miracle – in a dry prairie it is.
– we drove also to Lahaina, located on the dry side of Maui
– we did some whalewatching; it was quite the end of the season for that, but we were lucky. In the high-season for whale watching it is more like that the ships have troubles to stick to the guidelines to be 100 yards away of a whale because there are so many.
– we did a snorkling trip by ship
– we drove up to Haleakala twice. Once for sunset and once for sunrise.