Feb 13, 2012
When I arrived back at the hotel, one of the staff told me that I’d be picked up for my next tour in 30 minutes, which would have been 1:30. I quickly went upstairs, changed and got ready for my next adventure even though I wasn’t sure what it was. I was ready at 1:30, sat down and waited for my next driver.
After a few minutes, the hotel staff came over and asked me to come with him into the office. He had pulled up Google translate and had typed in Spanish and it automatically translated it to English, that my driver would be there at 3pm. Phew! I could actually go relax for a bit. And, I now knew about Google Translate which would be my new best friend!
At 3pm, I headed back down and I met with my driver, Darwin and my own personal tour guide, Mariana who the hotel had arranged just for me to take me to The Charles Darwin Station.
All of us, Darwin, Mariana, Nandrea (from the hotel) and myself all went to El Chocolate Restaurante for lunch. Then Darwin drove us to the Charles Darwin Station and Mariana and I walked in (about 1 – 1.5 kms).
Mariana was super sweet and spoke almost perfect English. I had a great chat with her about all kinds of things and felt like I could ask her any questions at all that I wanted to. Apparently she used to work for the hotel, but hasn’t for quite awhile as she’s been working on home renovations. Today, the hotel had called her in as they needed her help – this was to help me as she could be an English speaking guide at Charles Darwin Station.
We walked slowly around the station in the rain and she explained all about the four different types of turtle shells, about the predators and about how different turtles are from different islands, so when they breed them, they don’t mix them … in order to keep the species from changing.
Mariana took me to each of the different turtle ‘cages’ and explained the type of turtle, their age and what type of shell they had, as well as what island they were from. The baby turtles were really cute!
Next up we stopped to see some land iguanas, but they were being shy and hiding from the rain. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of them.
We then went to see larger turtles. These guys were so close to the fence that I was able to get great shots of them. Look, they are holding hands! Isn’t that sweet?Ok, really, it is two male turtles and I think they were just to lazy to move out of each others way, but it made for cute photos.
Last, but not least was Lonesome George. Lonesome George is over 100 years old and is the only remaining turtle of his species still alive. He is from Pinta island, but has been living in captivity for quite some time.
They have paired him with two females who are the closest to his species, however in the last few years, no reproduction has been successful.
On my way out, I stopped by the tourist store. I found some great t-shirts and other trinkets, but convinced myself not to pay the over priced tourist rate when I could find things much cheaper in the community of Santa Cruz.