San Cristobal, Part Two

On-tap this morning for guests aboard Silversea’s Silver Galapagos: a visit to the La Galapaguera Tortoise Reserve. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Gusts onboard Silversea’s Silver Galapagos had a bit of a Groundhog Day moment this morning as we dropped anchor off Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the eastern Galapagos island of San Cristobal. It’s also the same place we embarked Silver Galapagos at last Saturday, which felt like a bit of an odd homecoming. There’s the harbour, crowded with new and derelict boats alike, book-ended by the town and the airport where we touched down.

Silversea's Silver Galapagos at anchor off San Cristobal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador on Thursday, October 9, 2014. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Silversea’s Silver Galapagos at anchor off San Cristobal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador on Thursday, October 9, 2014. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Most guests won’t have this deja-vu experience. Our voyage is unique in that it embarked in San Cristobal following Silver Galapagos’ extensive drydock on Panama. All other voyages will embark and disembark guests in Baltra, where we’ll be on Saturday.
In order to depart the ship at 7:30 a.m. this morning, I filled out the Room Service card last night and hung it on my door as requested before 11:00 p.m. I requested a delivery time of between 7:00 and 7:30, and my butler Alvaro arrived right at 7:00 on-the-dot with a silver tray filled with my food.

On the bus, en-route to the La Galapaguera Tortoise Reserve. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

On the bus, en-route to the La Galapaguera Tortoise Reserve. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Alvaro set the entire table up in typical Silversea style, missing no detail. He ran over the order again for me to ensure he’d gotten it right – he had. Orange juice, cappuccino, plain yogurt, grilled peaches with honey, and white toast with marmalade were all mine for the taking – in the comfort of my suite.
Breakfast devoured, I was off the ship, into the zodiac, and back on the odd little mini-busses that had brought us from the airport to the ship six days ago. Our destination this time, though, was a little different: we were headed to La Galapaguera – a giant tortoise reserve spread out over 12 hectares of forest.

As you might expect, La Galapaguera has no shortage of giant tortoises. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

As you might expect, La Galapaguera has no shortage of giant tortoises. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

There’s a bit of a hidden danger here: bordering almost the entire length of the trail are Poison Apple Trees. They produce apples that look and smell like real apples, but there’s a difference: these ones will kill you if ingested.
Complicating matters is the fact that the tree’s milky sap is poisonous and can cause quite the skin irritation if brushed against. So you’ve really got to keep your arms in and watch where you’re walking.

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