As soon as our alarm clock went off early in the morning, I suddenly realized that our holiday is slowly coming to an end as this was our last full day here on the island and in South America as well.
Three weeks had gone by so very fast but these were worries for another day, we were still here on this beautiful island and since we still had a complete day to discover nothing but beautiful things, I was more than eager to make the best of it.
In the beginning of our holiday we booked a very expensive day trip towards South Plaza island and after waiting for almost three weeks, we were more than curious what to expect. According to the lady of the travel agency back in Quito, we were going to see nothing but beautiful things which were nowhere else to be found except on this island and maybe three weeks back we believed everything she said, nowadays we already have a suspicious feeling when someone says something like that but all things aside, I was still more than curious to see the land iguanas since they were the only ones on my list which I still hadn’t seen yet … so today had to be that day!
Breakfast was being served at 8 AM and although it was very basic, it was more than suitable and after taking for the very last time "my always so important sea sickness pill”, I was more than ready for a day on the water. Our guide and captain of the day arrived at 8.30 AM and with him a small tourist bus as well, but unlike the comfortable busses we had all during our trip on the mainland, this school bus was all but comfy and seeing that the roads here on the island weren’t always paved, we were in for one hell of a bumpy ride but of course … that made things more than exciting as well.
When we left Puerto Ayora early in the morning, it was still raining, but by the time we arrived at the port on the other side of the island which was about an hour later, the weather changed for the better and by the time we got out of the bus, it was already pretty hot.
Although we had to wait for a while for our dingy to arrive, as soon as we were on it, we were on our way towards our boat, which turned out to be a bit more modern than the “lancha” which we experienced a day ago. As soon as we set foot on the boat, our captain immediately screamed that we had to put out our shoes. Maybe this is something very important when going on a boat, but for the love of God, there are better ways expressing yourself than by screaming, after all, it is not like we were little kids.
When each and everyone of our group was finally on board, we got the simple instruction to sit down and off we were towards South Plaza Island or Isla Plaza Sur as it is called by the locals.
I don’t exactly know how long we were sailing and from time to time, I even dozed off but I am sure it couldn’t have been more than an hour when we finally arrived at the island with the sun shining bright upon our face. Upon our arrival at Plaza Sur, our captain just give us five minutes to prepare ourselves for the walk on the island and together with screaming nothing else but instructions to bring only water, a camera and a hat on the island, we were as good to go as we would ever be.
I must admit that for the first time during this trip I just wished I was somewhere else instead and I guess I wasn’t the only one thinking this. One of our group members earlier in the morning described our captain like a bald villain in a James Bond movie and although at the time we laughed about it, maybe he wasn’t so wrong after all!
As soon as we got on the island, I must admit that I was more than impressed with the vegetation which is called “sesuvium" and to me it looked a bit like the succulents at home, only these ones were more than colorful. Besides these beautiful plants, there were amazing examples of a pear cactus tree as well, but the bonus of the day were definitely the iguanas hiding from the sun underneath these trees. On our last day here on the islands, I finally got the see those incredible land iguanas and since yellow is one of my favorite colors, I can’t but state that these animals were my most favorite ones of this entire holiday and I couldn’t agree more with the saying : “safe the best for last”!
South Plaza Island isn’t exactly the biggest islet of them all, but it definitely is worth a visit not only because of its incredible flora but for its birdlife as well coz when we finally reached a cliff on one side of the islet, we just saw one bird species after another. Although we only spend an hour on it, once we got back on the boat again, I was glad to be in the shade coz it was definitely a hot day today. Luckily we were on the water, so that there was some kind of breeze, otherwise I would definitely have had a bad case of sunburn.
As soon as the entire group was back on board again, the staff prepared us some lunch, but for some reason we only got 15 minutes to eat it all and still not sure what was going on, before we actually got a clue, we were sailing again towards the spot were we were supposed to go snorkeling.
I guess we were sailing for about half an hour when we arrived at our snorkeling spot and once again we were treated like we were in some kind of military school. I’ve never in my life seen 20 people go so quick into the water like we did and I guess we even must be proud coz I think we are holding a record!
Unlike our snorkeling trip around Los Lobos, this time we saw the same fish, but for some reason the water wasn’t so clear and even the materials we got from our crew on board weren’t exactly the best … not that I complain easily, but when you get broken flippers … I guess it is time to change things … or am I wrong!?
We went into the water in record time and I guess the same goes for getting out of it. Although they promised enough time to snorkel, for some reason a few crew members followed us with the dingy, but not to help people in trouble … no, that’s not why it is there for … the dingy was used to keep us together and if people were tired, they'd just had to swim back towards the boat and this really said it all. I had never in my entire life seen such unfriendly people and I guess that in a way they really were villains.
After being not more than half an hour in the water, our entire group was back on the boat again and as soon as we changed into our clothes again, we were well on our way again to the harbor where we arrived about half an hour later … by the time we were all in the bus again and back at our hotel it was a little after 4 PM … we were flabbergasted and not in the right way!!!!
One thing me and Tania learned on this day … never ever go for a trip which is organized by a travel agency you know nothing about!
This aside, as soon as we arrived back at our room, we dropped of our gear and swimmers and walked straight back to the harbor. Although we didn’t had much time left, Tania still wanted to go and see Tortuga Bay, which is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches on Santa Cruz.
Since we didn’t want to walk all the way towards the entrance of the beach, we went by taxi and once we were registered, coz we were entering a NP after all, we were good to go and followed the very, very long walking trail all the way towards the beach, which was completely empty due to the late hour. Although we didn’t had much time to spare, we still enjoyed the most of it, but after half an hour admiring the water and the sand, we had to go back otherwise there might be a chance they were going to lock us up behind the gate and this was not something we were looking for!
Although it started to get darker and darker once we arrived back at the entrance of the beach, we decided to walk all the way back to the harbor of Puerto Ayora, which on itself was quite an interesting evening walk. From all that walking, we really worked up an appetite and since this was our last day, the both of us wanted to celebrate this in style and went for the best restaurant we could think of. Since we didn’t had much food all day long, we not only went for a delicious soup and a main course but for a dessert as well. We really had such a great time that by the time I wanted to pay the bill, I really got thunderstruck!
Not entirely sure what happened, I seemed to miss about 20 dollars in our mutual holiday wallet which me and Tania keep. Still not entirely sure what I was seeing and that I counted wrong, I checked my own wallet and guess what … I am missing 20 dollars as well … what the hell????
The only thing the both of us could think of was the fact that the money was stolen during our day trip on the island, but for some reason I felt bad about it coz I am not a person who accuses someone easily. If you can’t say for sure, you can’t point a finger but still, this wasn’t the most pleasant moment of the entire evening. Could our crew be that bad???
Loads of questions still remained in the back of my mind and although we went for another walk to clear our heads, by the time we were back into our hotel room and managed to pack all of our stuff, it was already way past 12 PM and more than time to go to sleep coz the both of us were going to have an early start tomorrow!