(Puerto Villamil, Isla Isabela, Galapagos)
Three months we spent in Costa Rica and we saw tops three other cruising boats. They were always on the move, and always, by some unwritten law, going in the other direction. Therefore, getting back to Panama City, and now being in the Galapagos, its nice to be surrounded by the cruising community once more. It’s great grabbing a sundowner with friends, sharing information on route planning and weather, and overall, it feels good to belong to something. To know we’re all out here together.
Early this week Roger started the rounds coordinating a group supper up at The Hauser’s. A restaurant located inland and upland ran by Bert and his wife Yvette. They take reservation seating and come with rave reviews. As we checked in with Roger through the week his confirmed numbers kept going up and up. That Roger, he really knows how to bring a group together. Early this afternoon waiting for our taxi up to lunch, we were standing 20 strong.
Needless to say, our taxi more resembled a troop carrier. A moving van like vehicle retrofitted with five covered bench seats on the back. As we set off to our lunch date I felt like I was on a safari. A volcano safari. For the farther we travelled inland, the more foreign and breathtaking the landscape became. Looking out the open sides of my bench seat I saw a vast, rough, and hardened lava field spotted with cactus and gnarly trees in every direction. As we gained altitude the landscape changed accordingly. Volcanic fall out lends to extremely fertile lands and the Island of Isabela is no exception. Up we went and the world around us turned lush. Tropical plants lined the road. Everything from soaring papaya trees to swaths of bananas.
When we arrived at The Hauser’s acreage and walked into the dining house, I was taken aback by how fine it was. The tables were set with full feast regalia. Complete with all the forks one would need and more. I kid only because I lack the prose to appropriately convey how lovely it all was. Then, when I was just getting used to my splendid surroundings, the food began to arrive. We were served with an outstanding four course meal. Complete with salad, soup, main, and dessert. Each course was as good, if not better, than the last. For the main we didn’t have the choice of almond chicken, mushroom tenderloin, seasoned tuna, or shrimp pasta; you got them all! And believe me, my short, imprecise descriptions do no justice to the delectability of the food.
I could go on praising our dining experience at The Hauser’s, but I’ll probably just get hungry and be thoroughly disappointed with the bowl of cereal I manage to put together. I will say, the company was superb. We met new friends like Neils and Margaret aboard the stunning Unwind, and David and Dimiti aboard Fanny Fisher. David had us laughing as he told his own lightning experiences of cattle ranching back in his Australian homeland, and he’s planted a real seed of pig hunting from dirtbikes in Gregory’s head.
After dinner we walked up the road to Silvio’s farm. Another highly recommended experience for any cruiser at Isla Isabella. Silvio himself leads you through his fields handpicking fruit and vegetables to your liking. You want a tomato that will be listo (ready) in 5-8 days? He can do that. How about a papaya in 10? Done. Peppers, yuca, green onions, pineapples, limes, basil, and more? He’s got it. We filled the bags we brought and promised to come back for more.