Upon arrival here we explored the town which now has 19,000 people and is very much geared for tourists and all the activities and trips they want to make.
There are little shops everywhere and every 3rd place is advertising this trip or that trip to scuba dive snorkel or visit another island. Restaurants and coffee shops abound and it appears there are lots of grocery store to help us provision for the 3 to 4 week journey ahead to the Marqueses Islands.
Yesterday 12 of us took a tour to the highlands where we visited a coffee producing farm where they also made rum from sugar cane and had bananas. We moved along to one of the highest points on the island where there was a lookout so we had a birds eye view of many of the surrounding islands and the coastline of Santa Cruz. We then visited a 300 foot deep volcanic crater. Then on to walk through a 800 meter long lava tunnel that was fortunately lit so we could see all the detail of the lava as we wound our way through the tunnel having to almost squat to get through in places. We were then treated to a 5 course meal with shrimp appetizers, chicken rice soup, delicious fish with 2 wonderful sauces, 2 different salads and dessert. We then visited the giant tortoises and caught one large male groaning as he was mating.
We then headed back to town where I tried to catch up on my blogs.
Last night was another birthday party complete with several rounds of Happy Birthday to You and chocolate cake with a candle on top. Another great opportunity to get to know our fellow Blue Planet Odyssey participants. We enjoyed the full moon back on the boat as we discussed our day and the journey ahead.