Isla Isabela (Terra firma)
The cruise was truly an amazing experience, and if we hadn’t left it to travel on to Isabela the great, big, sea-horsed shaped, covered in volcanoes, island of the Galapagos archipelago-We may have even be tempted to sulk. To anyone headed to the Ecuador area- the cruises are worth every penny of a blown budget and are not to be missed!
The uber relaxed atmosphere of Isabela island (and gorgeous beach our hostel is set on) is making me want to extend our ticket to stay indefinitely! The Casa Rosada, where we are staying, is one of the most beautiful locations of any hostels we have been to. The huge mosaic of a marine iguana emblazoned on the hot pink wall lords over the hundreds of live marine iguanas that scatter amusingly before you when you walk the 2 or so meters from the hammock behind the hostel to the crystalline waters of the ocean.
Alas, we do have to move on or we won’t get to see any more of Ecuador! After our rigorous schedule of island hikes and snorkeling two times a day at the cruise our posse (Tom and I are still traveling with some friends from the boat) are all pretty happy with lazily enjoying Isabela, with a book in one and and a cuba libre in the other.
The longest double date in history continues…
The atmosphere of the island, and specifically our hostel, definitely encourages this attitude. When the beachside bar opens around 6 or so, and the music starts blaring out over the sand, volleyball net and fire pit it starts to feel as though we are characters in some kind of strange sci-fi, 1950’s Beach blockbuster. The soundtrack and atmosphere are pure Gidget-esque material, but then there all all these slightly surreal props and set pieces. Like instead of sitting on blankets or logs on the sand we perch on huge whale vertebrate, and the stark black lava rocks occasionally look as though they are undulating like the waves; when the dragon-like marine iguanas that are covering them start to move and distinguish themselves from the rocks they blend into so well.
Of the inhabited islands we have seen, that is the islands that people are allowed to sleep on, Isabela is by far the best. There are the most penguins, the fish dinners and lunches at el Faro are perfect, and the banana bread from the panaderia is divine. In a clever marketing ploy they cook the stuff all day long, making everyone long for a big moist slice!
We have enjoyed a lovely 5 days of leisurely saying Goodbye to the Galapagos (for now!) and 5 nights of laughing with friends till we cry, roaming the town in our barefeet and watching each sunset compete with the last one.