Aug 23, 2012


Galapagos, Throwback Thursday, Travels

Throwback Thursday: Floreana Pirate Caves

Throwback Thursday is a way to document pre-blogging life.
While studying abroad in the Galapagos, we made a trip to Isla Floreana to study the wild tortoises and other critters for my Evolutionary Biology class. The island was about a 2 1/2 hour boat ride from mine, and I’m so glad I found a little video of it. It was pretty much bumpy like that the entire way, definitely not for those with a weak stomach. I loved riding right up at the front. (That’s me on the right with the Misfits hoodie.)
The captain of our panga was nicknamed Cuatro (as in 4). When we arrived on the island, Cuatro was greeted by a not-so-friendly Blue-Footed Booby (who actually kept trying to bite Cuatro as he was tying up the boat.) He actually grew up on Isla Floreana. The population stays at around 125 and there are only about 8-10 extended families on the whole island. It was nice visiting the island with someone who was from there. We went to his brother’s house and said hello to his family.We also stopped by his old school and said hello to the children there.
We hiked along the shore for a bit and came across an awesome above-ground grave on a black sand beach.
While doing a little research in the highlands, we found natural spring water dripping out of rocks. It was pretty neat. We also ran into one of Cuatro’s friends who was cruising on a donkey.
When our studies were over we made our way to the pirate caves. Floreana has a very interesting history (that you can read about here). It involves pirates and nudists. Back in the day, the Pacific was being heavily explored by sailors from many countries. They were perfect targets for pirates who carved out a resting place and lookout on the highest point of Floreana. From this spot they were able to look miles out into the Pacific and watch for passing ships.
When we descended the highlands there was a feast waiting for us. We grubbed out and climbed back into the boat. I remember watching Floreana getting smaller and smaller behind us, wondering if I would ever return.
  1. Michelle says:

    I just emailed you at your blog email address. Is that one you still use?

  2. Harlynn says:

    I’m seriously jealous.
    Sounds like an amazing small place. I mean, come on – pirate caves! Gorgeous view from up there.
    The boat ride would probably be amazing, but knowing me I’d be horrified (as I’m scared of the sea). I’d be wearing my misfits hoodie too imagining it’s a rather cold ride.

    The picture of the playground I absolutely love. I just wanna run to the teeter-totters! Haha.

    <3 Harlynn