The second day, I visited other places on the island of San Cristobal, also in Danny’s company. I could have done them on my own but, that way, it was easier, I got more information and nice chats. We went to visit the gigantic earth turtles, did some more snorkeling – and I learned how to dive with mask and tube without half the ocean ending up in my stomach – watched sea lions and birds. The most incredible bird species on the island has also the funniest name: the blue footed booby. I was told later that the English version is actually a distorted translation of the nickname of the bird. Because of his special walk when trying to seduce the female, he was called “pajaro bobo” or “clumsy bird”. Bobo became booby and blue footed… obviously because they have blue feet. Although there’s also a red-footed version, which I didn’t have the chance to spot during my stay.
In the afternoon, we went to the Junco, a dead volcano, in the crater of which is a little lake. We went around it. Sometimes, with the mist, the lake became almost invisible. Danny explained that, a few years ago, that lake got infested with a fish, which was alien to the island. It almost destroyed the local fauna. They managed to get rid of it but not without a very big effort.
Although tourists come to the Galapagos all year round to admire the investigation ground of Darwin, on which he based his theory of evolution, one must be aware of the dangers the fauna and flora of the islands are being faced with at all times. Alien plants and animals have been introduced, that tend to replace the original species. Some recent oil contaminations, due to ship accidents, have also had a huge negative impact, endangering the biodiversity. Many efforts have been made to preserve this little jewel but too often, politics and money get in between and get the last word. These are some of the things you become aware of when having a local guide instead of discovering things on your own.
After the volcano walk, I went back to see if the agency my friend told me about was open and there I found Aline. She was very helpful in giving me a hand in organising the rest of my stay with a list of things to see and do. She also told me some stories about Quito, where she lived for about one year and a half, which confirmed the feeling I had during my very quick visit. Not a very safe place to be.