I went to the Alejandro Alvear school. I made some good friends there…My best friend in the Galápagos was Juan – he was really nice. He’s learning English, I talk mostly in Spanish, I’m ok but not fluent, sometimes its hard to communicate but I can always find a way around it and he tries to use English.
Juan came over most days after school, sometimes Oswaldo, sometimes Alan and Samuel, Matteo and Antony…
We played loads of games, mostly over the road where there’s a garage and loads of old tyres. I found a tiny lizard which Lola, who was next door and owned our apartment, told me was a lava lizard because of the stripes on its tail! I looked after him for a few days and fed him water and flies but then let him go.
Ben ClarkWe also went off on or own around town to play or buy something or down to the Malecon – it’s a small town and very safe and everyone knows everyone and looks after each other. It’s a good town and there are nice people and everyone says ‘Hola Benjamin’ (pronounced ‘Ben-ha-min’) though I don’t really like it!
School started at 7 in the morning and finished at 12.30. My teacher was really nice. They don’t actually teach English though, they teach American! In the computer lessons, I sometimes saw my Dad because he was fixing up all the computers and helping out!
After school I would go for lunch somewhere with my family. We usually went to the Malecon – where there are shops, cafes, restaurants, playgrounds and lots and lots of sea-lions! They amble around and lie on the small beaches and they also come up on the pavements and walkways, sit on the benches meant for humans and lie under cars! Their favourite place seemed to be under the police car! And there once were some water slides that were for kids but the sea-lions took them over a long time ago I reckon!
On my last day of school, I took in sweets for everyone and then they asked me to come back the next morning and threw a goodbye party for me! At 7.30am we were drinking coke and eating crisps and then they gave me some amazing presents!
Then we said goodbye to San Cristobal and flew on a small plane to Isabela. It had just six seats including the pilot so we had to come on two trips! My Mum and Dad both got to sit in the co-pilots seat and hoped they wouldn’t need a co-pilot!
Isabela is the biggest Galápagos island, made of five volcanoes all joined together but the town of Puerto Vilamil is small and has almost no cars, has a lovely long sandy beach, with hundreds of iguanas on the wall and beach where we are staying.
All the islands in the archipelago are made from volcanoes which exploded out of the sea a few million years. So there is volcanic rock everywhere! The islands are actually quite young compared to the rest of the world! San Cristobal is the oldest – its 45 million years old. Isabela is one of the youngest and the very youngest Fernandina is only about 700 thousand years old and still active. Yesterday we went to Tintoreras, a cluster of tiny islets made up of A’a lava – it’s really spiky and impossible to walk on unless you’re a lizard or iguana! A’a lava gets to be like that from ho it erupts and mixes with the air as it cools. The flowing stringy lava that we usually see is called Ropey Pahoehoe lava! The names are Hawaiian.
We saw hundreds of iguana there and around the rock in the water we saw white tip sharks, huge turtles and Galapagos penguins!
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