Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Wednesday, 07 March 2012

Galapagos Part 3: To Floreana Island

On San Cristobal Island they hand-harvest and export 200 tonnes of coffee every year but everyone drinks the 'Colombian' stuff... instant Nescafe!

It's a crying shame for those of us who love a brewed caffeine hit. Luckily Tim and Cristal have a coffee grinder and plunger to remedy the situation at 6.15am each morning. 


After breakfast we boarded our boat 'Pacific' for the 2.5 hour trip to Floreana Island, the least inhabited of the main islands.  


On route we stopped for a snorkeling session and saw a spotted eagle ray, Galapagos penguin, mating frigates, diamond rays and choc chip sea stars. This little Galapagos Happy Feet is the only species of penguin found in the northern hemisphere.


 It was like Blue Booby heaven, with the males flaunting around their sexy blue webbed feet.


We had a pre-lunch snorkel before going ashore to a black sand beach at the hotel of the Witmer's, one of the island's first settlers.  With a population of less than 150 people, Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town but not without its secrecies. 


Pepo introduced us to the angel trumpet flower, a native plant that is used by medicine men and as a coming of age tradition in the jungle. If you place the Angel trumpet flower (pictured) in your room while you sleep it is supposed to give you wildly hallucinogenic dreams.

I only peered into the trumpet shaped flower and sniffed it but that night I had vivid dreamscapes where I kidnapped college students and made them throw mince meat at people from the back of a truck.

After lunch, we took a siesta while listening to the waves outside our room.  In the afternoon we rode atop a bus to the highlands to visit the Pirate and Whaler Caves and the Giant Tortoises, living in an open air zoo.


We clambered up to the turtle reserve where we got up close to 20 or so giant land tortoises in captivity. Most of them used to be pets so can't be returned to the wild. It was funny watching their wrinkly neck skin extend and shrink, as they slowly but surely chomped away on tree roots.


When we returned I braved a solo dusk snorkel and spotted a few colourful fish and a sardine school that must have been out for the day, as thousands of them rushed past me on their way home.

Preoccupied with the school of fish I got the shock of my life when I turned to the left and saw a white tipped reef shark, about 1.5m long swimming alongside me.

The sharks I'd seen previously were always a long way below me but this time I got the side profile of his dorsal fin and forgot to breath until he'd swum past. It was one of those moments that will be forever etched in my mind where I was thinking WOW and OH MY GOD WHAT IF IT EATS ME? then WOW and back to WHAT IF IT EATS ME? 


We had front row seats on the beach for the evening sunset show and watched the silhouetted heads of turtles popping up for air in the shallows. Our dinner reservation was at the Baronesa where we wolfed down broccoli and cauliflower soup, followed by wahu fresh fish, rice and salad. The stars sparkled due to the little amount of light on the island, all powered by a generator that turns off at midnight. That meant a still and sticky nights sleep with no fan and we weren't brave enough to open the windows with all the hungry mosquitoes on the prowl.

For more stories and pics check out:

Galapagos Part 1: Quito to San Cristobal

Galapagos Islands Part 2: Swimming with sea lions, marine iguanas and shaaaaarks!


Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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