Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Santa Cruz: Puerto Ayora

Sea level. Plenty of oxygen in the air. And with a temperature of about 25°C, it's a nice bit warmer too. To get down here from Quito took me almost 7 hours by SUV, plane, bus, mini-ferry, bus and taxi. I'm not sure they knew I was coming at Hotel Silberstein, but I got a room anyway. From the hotel it's only a short walk to the Charles Darwin station, where I saw some pretty ugly giant tortoises and some very cool golden land iguanas, frigate birds gliding in the sky high above and pelicans flying by just above the cactusses.

The cost of living seems to be surprisingly low here. For only 3$ I had an almuerzo in "Rincon del Alma", a small family run place. Nothing fancy, just honest home-made filling food for hungry travelers. And pretty good value, considering I got a glass of almond milk, a bean-potato-cheese soup, rice with fried platane and meat stew and a flan as desert. 1/2l of water costs 35cents. 1/2l Gatorade 1$. Internet 2$/hr. Ecuador uses US dollars as currency.

Puerto Ayora is the main town on Santa Cruz, the second largest island of the Galapagos.

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