Some days are sunny, it is very hot and the water is turquoise. On other days it is very cloudy. Sometimes the clouds only hang over the mountains in the interior of the island. On one of those cloudy days we catch a taxi in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to drive us up into the mountains and to another end of the island. For 55 USD the driver drives us for four hours via San Cristobál and takes us to three special places: The lagoon in the highlands, the giant tortoise reserve and the Puerto Chino at the end.
Our driver Leonardo is very talkative and tells us things about agriculture on the island of San Cristóbal. Bananas, sugar, avocados, papayas, pineapples, mangoes and oranges are grown. The residents generate electricity from three wind turbines, thermal heat and diesel generators.
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In the middle of the island and at 750 meters is the crater full of fresh water, the Laguna El Junco. It is the only pool of fresh water on the entire island and is preserved in the National Park and Water Conservation Area. When we visit the lagoon we only have a little visibility.
Low clouds pull in front of us and wrap the small lake in a veil. Frigatebirds circle through the swaths and repeatedly dart down into the water. I can briefly see the coast and the sea, then the clouds obscure my view.
Meanwhile, Sara and Leon are having fun with Darwin’s finches. These small but important birds for mankind come flying whenever a person spends a few minutes in one place. They are very hungry and also very trusting.
They will literally eat out of our hands for a few crumbs of bread. No other animal in the Galapagos inspires Leon like the finch.
The place has something mystical about the clouds and the loneliness. While there was a hustle and bustle of people and animals in the city and behind the city at the fincas with the harvesting of the fruit it looked like in the tropical rain forest, here you have the feeling of the matter of the mountains.
Shrubs proliferate on the slopes, which in turn are covered with lichen. Ferns grow in between. And a veil of water drops covers the plants and us.
We continue the journey where we meet the famous giant tortoises for the first time.