Tuesday, 3 December 2013

A beach just for us

Ever see those photos of celebs on their private yachts going to some exclusive resort island for vacation and wonder how the heck the paparazzi got a photo of it? This adventure on the Island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos made me feel like one of these super fabulous celebs, except replace yacht with small motor boat and exclusive resort with beach that no one else happens to be on. 

A man we called el capitan took us on an excursion to see Kicker Rock and have a little picnic on the beach. The best part about chartering a private boat being driven by a local is that they know the best spots to stop and have lots of stories to tell.  He dropped us off on a small island without inhabitants or visitors.  We hopped off the boat, picnicked (have the oranges, they are DELICIOUS) and lazed on our own beach as he fished in the shallow waters. It was quiet and serene and it felt as though we were the only people in the whole world, without feeling like we were on an episode for Survivor and were going to have to dig up worms for dinner.  

The following day we hopped into the car and drove to the other side of San Cristobal to a beach called Puerto Chino.  We parked a ways away and then followed a narrow path between tall grasses blowing in the warm gentle breeze until we reached a clearing that opened into a wonderful view and empty beach.  It was as if we knew about this incredible secret place that no one else knew about.  Protected between two big rock structures, the water was  calm and we were protected from the wind. 

It was really nice to be able to enjoy the beach without having to climb over people, listen to that person's radio, have sand kicked in your face by people walking by or  be worried about some one taking your stuff when you're not looking.  And we were really lucky to have locals to take us there because as a tourist, this would be a really hard place to get too.  San Cristobal does not cater to tourists the same way Santa Cruz does.  It does not have many hotels, buses or taxis, so if you wanted to get to and from Puerto Chino you'd have to do a little asking around.  I know this sounds like a bit of a pain, but part of the charm of San Cristobal is that it is still relatively unaffected by tourism.  The whole reason of visiting the Galapagos is to enjoy it's wonderful natural setting and if there were tour buses dropping off hoards of people we wouldn't get that chance.