By the end of our four days here, we found that San Cristobal Island is the perfect blend of nature, local culture, and great food. It is small, and quiet, but not so small or quiet that you can’t find a good meal or a disqotech if you are so inclined. The people are welcoming and friendly. The nature is stunning, but you had better come ready to hike or swim to get there. It is a blend that is perfectly suited to the Godfreys' preferences.
The Galapagos Islands are Ecuador’s version of Hawaii. There are Galapaguenos (those who have lived their lives in Galapagos), but there are also a large number of people traveling and visiting from mainland Ecuador. They are here to enjoy the wildlife, surf, and explore just like us.
The town has everything you might need: Laundry, markets, and ice cream on every corner. Most hostels we have walked by are beautiful, clean and welcoming. Many have hammocks hanging in the yard, and offer a selection of cold Pilsner or mojitos to drink.
The beach is where everyone goes to hang out when they aren’t playing volleyball. Makeshift soccer games tend to break out, and the best food in town is served here. In addition to the banana-hotdog, we enjoyed chicken on a stick (basted with some flavored oil and grilled to perfection), chorizo (grilled then drizzled with mayonnaise and Ecuadorian ketchup), maize (a chewier and more dry version of corn on the cob, basted with butter, then mayonnaise, then rolled in shredded parmesan cheese), and empanadas (a sweet, chewy dough pocket filled with chicken, carrots, celery and spices or cheese, then fried to a golden brown.)
To drink, a man arrives via bicycle with a bucket of plastic baggies filled with liquid. He honks a bike horn to signal his arrival, and the availability of his plastic baggies. What is this? The locals start to line up, each purchasing a bag, then poking in a straw. They drink up.
We are developing a policy: if locals are flocking to a particular experience, then we should follow suit. Three reasons: (1) it’s part of the culture; (2) it's bound to be good; and (3) it is not likely to poison us because the locals are repeat customers. You never want to poison a repeat customer!
So, Andrew hops in line with the bicycle-bucket man. Shortly thereafter he returns with a sparkle in his eye. It’s a very tasty beverage made with ice cold coconut milk and tamarind. Light, refreshing and a bit sweet. It is delicioso! We drink the first bag, and I make Andrew go back to buy another.
As the sun set and the fog rolled in, we headed back to Sonrisa. Andrew took his evening nap, while I caught up our log. Sad to leave, we upped anchor at 8:00 p.m. and set off for an overnight passage to Santa Cruz Island, Puerto Ayora. There will be more to see there, too, and we don’t want to miss out. The wind and current were both set behind us, allowing a six knot traverse to our next port 40 miles away. Perfect.