Videos from Ecuador – Quito and the Galápagos islands

Ecuador – Quito from sofia armenteros on Vimeo.

Views of Quito – Some tests about being in the middle of the world – Homeparty with some reggeaton dance – Playing Jenca with my host and his friends..

Galapagos – Santa Cruz from sofia armenteros on Vimeo.

First video from the Galápagos, the island of Santa Cruz, las grietas, snorkeling, land tortoises..

Galapagos – the other islands from Sofia Engleson on Vimeo.

Second video from the Galápagos, visiting the islands of Bartolomé, Santiago, Isabela and San Cristobal. Snorkeling with penguins, turtles, sea lions, visiting volcanos, tunnels etc..

Last day in Isabela and in Santa Cruz – visiting the volcano, doing night snorkel etc..

I had some early breakfast at Aloha Betsys (so good and much cheaper than the other places… really my favorite place on the island.. At 7.15, the tour guy picked me up there to go to the volcano Sierra Negra.

It’s the second biggest crater in the world, but the biggest one that is active, since it had it’s lasts eruption in 2005. It is huuuuuuuuge! The trail is around 8 km there and then the way back, and it’s not a very easy terrain, and the sun gazing… and my legs that hurt from yesterdays climbing.. hehe. I was so sweaty, like as if I had been showering… but it was great! I really loved the walk!! And I met some great people and had nice chats (since we were walking for like 7 hours,..haha)

In front of the biggest active crater in the world!

In front of the biggest active crater in the world!

Thumbs up! :)

Fascinating surroundings.

Panorama del volcan

Panorama de  Sierra Negra

I got a text from J that he was on Isabela too with a daily  tour group, and that he could take me with him back to Santa Cruz.. I had in mind to take the boat next morning, but as he said “The boat for Santa cruz leaves at 5 in the morning tomorrow, or you could come back with me this afternoon for free and we could do night snorkel in Santa cruz…” haha. An offer I can’t refuse! So when I got back from the volcano, all dirty and sweaty, I passed by my room to get my stuff, paid for the room and met up with him to go back.. He greeted me as his girlfriend… I think I was Davids girlfriend on my way here, and J on my way back… haha.

Oh, and on the way back we saw dolphins, and they jumped!!!! It was amazing, I got it on video too, so happy!!

El delfin saltando!!!!

Jumping dolphin! Finally on picture!!

Jas con su grupo en la lancha hacia Santa Cruz

en la lancha hacia Santa Cruz

When we got back in Santa Cruz he helped me to find a gift for David, then we split up to go home to leave our things and then we met up to do the night snorkel. We went to get some dive lamps and the gear, then we took the boat taxi to one of his friends boats to get wetsuits and stuff and then out in the night… sooooo beautiful to go by boat at night in the port there between all the boats with small lights and the reflexes in the water… amazing really. And the sky was so clear you could se millions of stars, amazing!! Unfortunately, the water was not was clear as the sky… so we didn’t see any sharks around there, but we saw many lobsters, and also brought a few back for the friend who lent us his boat. Once again, an amazing experience! I’m so thankful!

Me after my first night snorkel :)

Me after my first night snorkel :)

Next day I was supposed to leave for San Cristobal in the afternoon, but David said it would be better if I took it the next morning, so he could talk to his family in San Cristobal and we could say a proper good bye with the gang today and stuff.. He also told me some big news he just had found out about, that he is going to be a father! Congratulations :)

I went to Tortuga bay, finally. It is a big beautiful beach with white sand and lots of iguanas :) It made me think of the Caribbean cost of Mexico.. hehe. I was really tired and tried to have a siesta at the beach under some trees, but the mosquitos bit me so much I had to leave.. haha. On the way back I had clouds, woho, because you have to walk around 30-40 minutes to get there, which I did in the sun on my way there.. hehe.

Panorama over Tortuga bay

Panorama over Tortuga bay

There are so many here!!!

There are so many here!!!

I went home to have some siesta and waited for David to come home from work, but he didn’t.. I got a little bit worried, waited for some hours but then I went to internet to upload pics to the blog and to skype with Duilio, and hadn’t heard anything from David still… no answer in the phone or anything. Around 22ish he calls me,  says he doesn’t know where he is.. I got a little bit worried, but apparently he was with his friends who got the news today, and they had taken him out to celebrate right after work. Maribel or Kiara wasn’t at home and I wanted to do something so I met up with J. We had some deep talk, he also said that he feels that he can tell me things he doesn’t usually tell people, mainly since I’m not from the islands but speak Spanish.. Another guy I met at Sierra Negra, the volcano, opened up to me too about his wife and father etc…
I feel really glad I give that impression to people.

So… that’s it. And I’m sad to leave Santa Cruz…. Why is it that I always have to leave when I start to feel at home? It hurts. And all the amazing people… It’s weird that their lives will keep on here in the islands, while I’m not here… I wish there was 10 Sofias so I could live in different places at the same time.

The lovely island Isabela! Tunels, volcanic caves, snorkeling etc..

Sorry for bad update! I’ve even had internet where I was sleeping in Isabela, but I had things to do all the time so I didn’t have time to sit by the computer to write.
Now I’m back in Santa Cruz, my last day here.

David had a tour to Isabela and he fixed so I could join the boat there. So before the passengers got onboard, I met up with the captains and slinked in on the boat. Hi hi. But apparently the company later found out that they did this and they are now having a meeting with their boss, I hope they don’t get into too much trouble!!

On our way to Isabela with the crew!

On our way to Isabela with the crew!

When we arrived at Isabela I walked towards town, since this group all are staying at luxurious hotels I was looking for an accommodation something about 10 times cheaper hehe. I asked a man who was sweeping in a hotel if he knew any hostal for 10-15 USD, and he asked me what I was looking for… a place with AC, tv, bathroom, hot water, kingsize bed and wifi just by the beach? Ehm.. yeha!! That sounds awesome.!! He said “me and my wife has a house down the beach and we are renting out a room there, if you want I can show you the room?” and he took me there with his motorcycle. The room was simple but great. :)

The mainstreet in isabela... beautiful with sand!

The mainstreet in isabela… beautiful with sand!

The beach with all the picarones :)

The beach with all the picarones :)

After installing myself a little I took a walk around the town, I passed by a restaurant called Aloha Betsy where there was a man sitting, and I asked if they had vegetarian food there. He said that he is only in charge now because the lady was out shopping groceries, but that they do great food here, and that the lady probably could arrange something vegetarian for me. We started talking and he sais that he is a ping pong teacher (among other things). Haha! I asked him if he knew David, because I knew Davids old ping pong teacher lived here in Isabela and since the island isn’t that populated I guess it couldn’t be two ping pong teachers there.. haha. Small world, that the first person I talk to on the island, is the only one I know who he is… :) We talked for a while, and he had some really interesting thoughts. For example, there is around 350.000 visitors here every year, who pays 100 USD each when they arrive to Galapagos… that is a lot of money! And he had the proposition that 1% would go to developing young people and sports… but the government isn’t interested, they are only interested in the animals here… but the problem is, that today’s youth here are using a lot of drugs here because they don’t have anything else to do.. and drugs are expensive, so they have been some thefts around here because of that… which almost never has happened before. It’s super safe here, I can walk alone at night with my Iphone in my hand, and it won’t happen anything.. and that’s because people here have enough money and don’t need to steal..

Well.. anyhow.. Apparently Jamid was waiting for David just in that moment, so funny! Haha. so David was quite surprised over that I was sitting there when he came, haha.

I had a greeeaaat vegetarian dinner (for 5 USD, amazing). Angel arrived too, he is also having a tour in Isabela, so he arranged so I could join him tomorrow to the Tuneles and to snorkel. I had an early night home, I was reallyyyy tired, but since I had internet at home I didn’t manage to sleep until around 1 anyways…

The Bolón , typical ecuatorian breakfast :)

The Bolón , typical ecuatorian breakfast :)

Next day I had some breakfast at one of the restaurants that was open at this hour. I ordered a bolón of cheese, which is typical for here, it’s a mass of banana and cheese I think, quite similar to patacones. Really heavy!

At 8.40 I met up with Angel at the muelle to go to the tunnels. It’s some weird cliff formations that builds tunnels both above and under the sea. Unfortanily it’s not allowed to do any snorkel there anymore, too bad, because it’s supposed to be magical. The water was crystal clear, so from the surface we saw turtles and sea lions very well : ) After that we went to another place close where we did jump of and snorkel for an hour or so. We saw some rainbow fishes and other stuff, and a turtle too :) Oh! And from the boat we saw a manta ray that had the diameter of 4-5 metres! Huge!

Angel found himself a wig

Angel found himself a wig

Close-up bluefooted boobie

Close-up bluefooted boobie

Me in the tuneles :)

Me in the tuneles :)

Later when we got back, I went to the beach to have a nap. I wake up a little later and I see David wandering around, he was looking for me, and he says “Sofia! We are leaving now! Are you coming? Let’s go!” haha. I put my stuff together and was about to go with my beachdress and he says “You should bring your shorts instead since we are going to have security around our legs”… I didn’t understand really what we were going to do.. haha. I just knew that this was a new place and not touristic, that it was something David, Angel and the two captains really wanted to do.. hehe

Not until we got there I understood, haha. It’s some volcanic caves called Trillizos . You climb down about 150 metres below sea level. There are some steps there so it’s not to difficult to climb down, but it’s very muddy and slippery so you can easily loose foot grip, but you are secured to a rope just besides, with another rope, haha. It’s quite and little bit risky and dangerous, but still it felt quite safe to do it, very exciting :) But you can’t be shorter than me I think, haha, because some steps I couldn’t reach with my feet so I had to lay against the muddy wall with my belly to reach the step.. hehe. We were all quite dirty when we got down to the caves!! Haha. And then was the climbing up again, but that went easier. :) A very nice experience though!

Beautiful surroundings!

Beautiful surroundings!

Fixing our security line :)

Fixing our security line :)

In the beginning of the tunnel down to the cave

In the beginning of the tunnel down to the cave

Going down to the cave!

Going down to the cave!

Happy and dirty after getting down to the cave!

Happy and dirty after getting down to the cave!

The hole gang at the top again :)

The hole gang at the top again :)

Back in town we had some beers before we went home and took a good shower. Later some dinner, and then out to some bars around here, one by the beach who had a like you could try to walk over, but it’s sort of impossible! Haha.
Jamid, the ping pong teacher, had told me he sang karaoke and that I had to come and see him, so later we went to a karaoke place too. :)

Trying to walk the line.. not that good balance!!

Trying to walk the line.. not that good balance!!

Cheers! Sweaty and happy :)

Cheers! Sweaty and happy :)

Oh, and since I decided to stay one more day at the island, (David was leaving tomorrow) I wanted to do the volcano tour in the next day, but it was around 22 at night and all the agency were closed… but Angel knew where a guide lived, so we passed by there and he arranged the tour for me for 25 USD (usually is around 40-50 USD). I’m soooo lucky!! I really don’t know what I would have done without these guys!