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Galapagos: Isla San Cristobal
15 Jan 2014

Isla San Cristobal was the third and final island of our Galapagos adventures and it made our trip unforgettable. Our flight out of the Galapagos was on Saturday and we arrived on Wednesday evening, so we only had two full days to explore the island. We had been recommended to dive Kicker Rock by other divers we’d met on the islands, so before arriving we researched the dive shops on the island.

It turned out that the number one dive shop on the island, Wreck Bay, just happened to be doing Kicker Rock on Thursday! We were massively in luck.

We spent the entire day on Wednesday taking boats from Isla Isabella (one at 6am, the second at 2pm). When we arrived all we wanted was to find a place to lay our bags down and chill. Sadly this wouldn’t prove terribly easy because the only places we could find right away were all booked up.

Finding Somewhere to Sleep

We started walking along the beach front in the last direction we hadn’t searched yet and stumbled upon Wreck Bay, so we decided to drop in and say hi. Turns out they had been looking for us! One of the divers at the shop had come to the docks with a sign and my name printed on it but in our post-three-hour-boat-ride daze we hadn’t noticed and walked right past them.

The staff were all smiles to see us and were excited to get us to try on our wetsuits and gear, but we had to refuse because we still hadn’t found a place to stay. The owner then told us to drop our bags off and he came with us in search of a place!

We had heard of Hostel San Francisco so we asked about it but he said he had a place he wanted to bring us to, so we went with him around the corner to Luis Hotel, a narrow building of apartments that had been converted into a budget hotel. We still wanted to check out San Francisco so we kindly told the staff that we’d be back and went in search of San Francisco.

As typically seems to be the case, everyone gave us varying directions of where to find San Francisco and we ended up searching for about 20 minutes before finally finding it - right next to the dive shop! We were a bit miffed to find out that they had just booked up, so it looked like Luis Hotel was our best bet. We grabbed some dinner quickly and then passed out.

Diving Kicker Rock

The next morning we woke up bright and early and met the dive masters at the docks at 8:30am. The boat was already geared up so we hopped on and they took us for a quick tour of the shores.

Arrival

Jan 15, 2014

from Isla Isabella, Galapagos

Departure

Jan 18, 2014

to Guayaquil, Ecuador

Weather (Celcius)

Elevation (m)

Taxi Boats from Isla Isabella to Isla San Cristobal

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 05:40
TimeLocation
5:31AMIn the cab to the docks.
5:38AMAt agriculture inspections.
5:59AMOn a taxi boat.
6:10AMOn board the Neptuno.
8:16AMTransferred to a taxi boat.
8:19AMWaiting for bags.
8:29AMUnloaded at San Cristobal.
1:28PMOn our way to the docks.
2:04PMOn a taxi boat.
2:09PMOn our way to San Cristobal!
4:05PMArrived!

Luis House

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 18:03

Staying here for $30/night.

La Playa

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 19:07

Excited to try!

SCUBA Diving at Kicker Rock

Thursday, January 16, 2014 08:21

Holy shit Kicker Rock you don’t hold back!

We met up with the crew at 8:30AM on the pier and the boat was ready to go. We boarded and then cruised north along the coast of San Cristobal, checking out the port where Darwin first landed as we went. We did our check dive in a small bay and everything was good to go!

The ride to Kicker Rock was quick - less than half an hour. Once we arrived our dive master gave us a breakdown of how the dive would go. He taught us a bunch of hand signals to identify fish with which should have been a sign for what was to come.

For the first dive we crossed the gap between the two rocks. The first half of the dive was pretty basic and we saw plenty of puffer fish and other small fish swimming around. Shortly after letting a current push us further along we saw our first shark of the day: a white tip! This was immediately followed by a second, and a third, and then I decided to stop counting and just watch as we swam under, beside, and around too many sharks to count.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 08:38

Thursday, January 16, 2014 08:38

Birds

Thursday, January 16, 2014 09:05

These birds were a blast to watch swim over the ocean as they’d dive bomb into the water to catch fish.

Puffer Fish

Thursday, January 16, 2014 09:20

OMG HAMMERHEAD!

Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:40

We can finally check this one off from our Galapagos to-do many, many times.

Galapagos Sharks

Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:45

More Sharks!

Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:46

And Turtles

Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:50

Soooo cool to watch them swim!

Planet Fish

Thursday, January 16, 2014 13:00

This was unreal. Here’s a video of this giant school of fish at Kicker Rock.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 13:20

Eagle Ray

Thursday, January 16, 2014 13:30

After-Dive Lunch

Thursday, January 16, 2014 14:04

We were given a bunch of ingredients to make sandwiches after our dives.

Post-Dive Beachin’

Thursday, January 16, 2014 14:16

Skullz

Thursday, January 16, 2014 14:17

We found this skull on the beach!

Pelicans!

Thursday, January 16, 2014 14:19

It’s so easy to get close to the wildlife in the Galapagos. This pelican was floating near the shore when I walked up to it to grab this photo.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 15:25

Tsunami Cena

Thursday, January 16, 2014 20:38

Really good $3 plate.

Cabaña mi Grande

Friday, January 17, 2014 10:24

The Desayuno Angel here was absolutely delicious! For $3 it came with a banana milkshake, eggs, and a scrumptious salty pancake made with cheese and fried plantain. Sooooo good.

Ship Repair Yard

Friday, January 17, 2014 11:21

We thought all of these ships were abandoned but this is apparently a repair yard.

Darwin's Finches

Friday, January 17, 2014 17:42

We went to the interpretation center on San Cristobal and learned about the history of the islands.

Election Rallies

Friday, January 17, 2014 19:27

While we were in the Galapagos they were throwing all sorts of rallies for the upcoming elections.

Parrillada San José

Friday, January 17, 2014 20:38

Holy shit the plates here are huge! For $15 you get a massive slice of beef, lamb, chicken, and two chorizos plus rice, beans, and a salad. The meat sadly didn’t taste as good as I’d hoped but it was definitely filling.

Flying from the Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil

Saturday, January 18, 2014 09:46
TimeLocation
8:00AMWoke up to the guy upstairs testing out his hammer again.
9:48AMGrabbing breakfast at the $3 place.
10:23AMIn a cab.
10:33AMChecked our bags and waiting to go through security.
10:47AMThrough security.
11:32AMTake off!
2:03PMTouch down in Guayaquil! One hour ahead now.
2:25PMPicked up our bags.
2:34PMIn a cab.
2:56PMChecked in to our bnb.

Farewell Galapagos!

Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:00

It was unreal!

Arrival

Jan 15, 2014

from Isla Isabella, Galapagos

Departure

Jan 18, 2014

to Guayaquil, Ecuador