Monday afternoon I arrived at Bambu Cafe and met up with Daniel who took me to the port for my boat to San Cristobal… I don’t actually know what was going on but there seemed to be a lot of people waiting and no boats and 15 min later two boats arrived and Daniel told me to get on one, Fair enough.
As I went towards the taxi boats to the speed boats (fast boats according to Daniel) I met two other girls, Bryn from America and Nick from the lake district (woo!) So I went and sat down with them on the boat and found out they were volunteering at the place I was heading so that was pretty cool, they had been there a week already and had just left for the weekend to visit Sta Cruz, they said the place was amazing, and seemed really nice, we were just getting into a conversation about what kind of work we do up there when they started reading out the list of names for the boat and at the end I realised mine had not been called? So I asked the man who´s face went into panic saying ´get on the other boat now! I´ll lose my license!´ and I´m sorry but we got of the taxi and were directed to one of the boats, so I sat where the man put me, so I got off and hopped onto the other boat next to it (much nicer one with proper windows!) and sat down next to the guy how´d been chatting to the girls before they got on the boat. His mane was jack, from England! Whoa! Lots of English people already and I hadn’t even reached San Cristobal!
So that was a really nice journey to San Cristobal, it was really rough and the waves were ridiculous so of course I loved it! A poor woman on the other boat was thrown up on apparently!
When we got to San Cristobal we met up with Bryn and Nick, they had to say bye as they were heading up to Jatun Sacha (the volunteer place) that afternoon however me and jack made plans to go find this cafe in a tree that we´d both read about in the lonely planet book.
When I got to my hostel Armi was waiting for me! So that was pretty ace and she´d already settled down in our room, we set off later in in the evening to the sea front to see the MASS of Sea Lions literally everywhere, we text jack and all met up. I´m not kidding the Sea Lions are loco here! Its funny just sitting there watching tourists try to cross a bridge and as they get half way across a sea lion gets on from the water and starts barking, then one appears behind them and basically they´re stranded because if the sea lions bark, you get a way, they bite hard! They basically own the place and you leave them in peace, so when one is on a bench, you do not sit down!haha
So anyway Armi, Jack and I headed towards this tree house in El Progresso (only $3 taxi!) when we got there however it turned out the place was closed! 😦 So the taxi driver suggested we went to the restaurant near by and as we had no other plans we agreed. Best Decision Ever. We arrived in the dark at this massive bamboo restaurant with no lights on and a man sitting on the steps, after the taxi man spoke a bit of Spanish the guy got up, said welcome to my restaurant and the whole place lit up, from the second floor we could see a beautiful view of the sunset, however since he´d basically opened up the restaurant we decided to sit downstairs with him. This guy was called Eduardo and had the most amazing story I had heard yet, When he was 13 he travelled to Venezuela from Ecuador where at 15 he started working on boats travelling around the world until he was in Greece at the age of 17 and they realised he was underage, so he was kept in Greece for 6 moths then deported back to Ecuador, to sum the story up he ended up the Consular of Galapagos (apologise for the spelling) 2 times in a row and was when the Ecuadorian government went corrupt and he had to flee and hide out for years until his name was cleared, then he moved back to the Galapagos and build the hostel on the sea front which Jack was staying in which he has now given to his ex wife and then in 14 months built this restaurant from scratch, the story sounded better from him and he´s writing his second book at the moment, all in all he´s one amazing dude who´s having diner with the president of Ecuador at some point this week…haha
So we spent the evening by the sea with jack watching the sea lions and meeting random security guards then sitting on the roof of Casablanca looking out over the sea (Eduardo did well building there, the view is amazing!), then next morning me and Armi had an early start to head off to jatun sacha, we got there and found ourselves in the middle of the highlands in a fantastic little area with two houses for sleeping and a massive wooden dining area filled with English speaking people which was nice after a week of Spanish!
After out introduction we found ourselves planting poison apple in the nursery where we met people who were the for months and a group of school students and 2 teachers from Essex who we became pretty good friends with, the afternoon we spent on the deforestation area. Basically cutting and chopping and pulling the invasive Mora (blackberries) out of the ground with our whole bodies covered and mozzy head nets and everything, by then end everyone was dripping with sweat and the crazy heat didn’t help! So off for a cold shower and then for dinner where we learnt to play bananagrams, a game a bit like a scrabble race, of course I was shocking.
So later we headed to a little bar, which the locals put on for the volunteers where I surprisingly kept winning this crazy word game but didn’t have as much luck at pool. Nail basically destroyed me and was on black before I’d potted 2 balls…
So that’s that, there must have been 20 ish English speaking people, maybe 15, no se, but it was definitely different to be around people I could communicate with again, so more volunteering in the morning, me and Armi are down for making lunch so I don’t know what that means as far as when we work and when we cook, I guess I’ll find out en la mañana, 🙂