05 January 2022 Feeling a bit grounded

Today, as usual, started off with breakfast and coffee for Kathy and juice for Dave but quickly we were off on our next adventure. Today we again got the opportunity to wear our hiking boots and for a change long pants for a hike to the top of the volcano. We would say we kept our feet on the ground, but Kathy slid on some loose dirt and firmly deposited her rear end on the ground. Thankfully it was a soft landing, was it her butt or the dirt, she is not saying. We started the walk in a misty tropical setting reminiscent of episodes form Jurassic Park.  However, topping the rise of the hill saw us pass over into a landscape that at times looked like the moon landing, and other times like scenes from Lawrence of Arabia.  We worked at finding some birds, but the elusive Vermillion Fly Catcher (male) was hiding somewhere behind his mate who was the bolder bird. Imitating life, the male hid behind the “skirts” of his wife.

A short walk later, we were back on the bus.  We drove to the port for a wonderful lunch. The time seemed to whiz by and soon we were back on the skiff to go back into the town of Isabella.  We stopped to gawk at some flamingos which were lazily standing in a pond created by the excavation of the stones used to build the very roads and cities we visited. Soon we were off to visit the Breeding Center for the Tortoises on the island. We were fascinated to learn about the preservation of the species of the tortoises of the Galapagos.  Our trusty bus driver then took us back to the small city center where some of the group were adventurous enough to the local Coco Loco Drink. We tried the local ice cream which was similar to a sorbet, but coconut/blackberry sorbet was a new taste and treat for us. Deciding to stroll around town, we watched local boys jumping off the wharf into the ocean below. We saw them do flips and acrobatically jump from the high point of the wharf into the ocean. We were suitably impressed.  The ride back in the dingy to the boat gave us a new driver.  G took over the controls and anxiously navigated us back to the boat. She was trying to live up to the most excellent job that Irene had done the day before. Irene, though, an RN in DC, is used to taking over the reins for others. Like a pro, Irene handled the stress of navigating us from the shore to the boat with ease. G, ever the good sport and with loads of laughter, managed to navigate with a little help while entertaining her passengers.  What a multitalented job she did!

Dinner again was a lovely affair with an excellent meal and amusing companions.  The laughter flowed freely around the table. The night ended by us relaxing along the deck with Elena, Chris, Prity (Rikky), and Maria as we talked about a variety of subjects.

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