15th August – Monday
Oli awoke in great pain and had to lie with an ice pack on his back for ½ hour. We had scrambled egg, lousy coffee,juice and toast with guava jam for breakfast. There were four marine iguanas, three pelicans and a giant blue heron keeping us company on the patio. The heron really hated those pelicans and he chased them off whenever they come too close to him. One of the iguanas walked right between Oli and me and then underneath Oli’s legs. Once again, my brother’s dream had been fulfilled.
What was so fantastic that such an event was just commonplace to the locals.
A little later on we went for a walk up to the Tortoise Sanctuary and took a lot of photographs of the tortoises, lizards and birds. The souvenir shop closed at 11.30 until 2.30, so I told the staff that we’d come back at three. We met the head of the Darwin Centre and asked her advice on which islands we should visit on a day tour. Her reply was that all of the Galápagos Islands were beautiful.
We walked down into the town and stopped at Jacquelina’s shop to buy a book for our sister, Kim. We had to go back at three for it when Jaqcuelina’s sister, Alexandra would be there. Jacquelina tried to set up a tour for us but all she could get for us was a short cruise on a small boat to a bay on the same island.
We went to a restaurant, which Oli had identified as being very popular, for lunch. We had arroz marinero and jugo de papaya – not very good. We eventually found an agent, at the west end restaurant, who could book us onto a tour departing our hotel at 5am the next morning for Isla Bartolomé for US$ 50 each. In the shop I bought two books, on Oli’s recommendation, for S/-5000. Later, Oli remembered that he hadn’t really liked those books very much after all! They were from the Mordant series by Stephen R Donaldson and Oli just wanted to read the second one because he couldn’t remember the conclusion.
At three o’clock, I went up to the bookshop again. Alexandra was there and she told me to come back at five. I went up to the Tortoise Sanctuary shop and bought Kim some books, and a 1995 Galápagos calendar for Joy and I. I went back to the room to read a little, then back up to the bookshop. This time Alexandra told me that the boss had the keys to the store; could I come back tomorrow? I told her I’d be back on Wednesday.
We went to the Las Cuatro Lantinas for supper. Oli and I had pepper steaks. Dad had a herb steak which was really tough and had to be sent back. After a wait, we had the same cut as us and it was wonderful.