Friday, March 16, 2012

Fiesta de Isabela

First - volcano pictures are up!

Today, March 16th, is the founding of Isabela and that means fiesta time. For three days, the island celebrates its beginnings with rodeo, parade, the obligatory beauty pageant for "Miss Isabela," artisan fair, horse races down Villamil's main street, lots of speeches and a big party in the town tonight with performances by Darwin, the romantic singer (and we thought he was a researcher/evolutionist/scientist); the music of Michael Jackson and a big all night dance to the Orchestra "D'Franklin Band."

We went to the parade this morning and it was a classic small town parade including the fire man (yes one!), table tennis team (a competition later today), the Galapagos National Park rangers and a youth group, the International Oceanographic Institute which looked like mostly University of Miami students (thought you'd like that Gene and Pat); the local "congress people," electric company, National Bank etc. It was quite the event with music provided by a sound system from the back of a pick-up truck. The best part was the military which had a good horseman and horse.

We'll head back into town later for the artisan fair and horse races. We probably won't make it for tonight's music though seeing the reincarnated Darwin as a romantic singer might be worth it!

Last night we enjoyed dinner in town with three other boats – an Australian boat with their guests and a British couple. So it was international and very enjoyable. They had found a good place where we got a three course meal for $6.60 each. Two bottles of beer cost more than the dinner. A local band came by the restaurant and started to perform – a trumpet, fiddle, large acoustic bass guitar and rhythm guitar. They had good voices and played traditional Ecuadoran music. It was a nice extra.

We nursed our big volcano hiking blisters and aches with a short walk to town and scoped out how to get propane. We had to buy another adapter for the Ecuadoran type bottles...but luckily it was available at a local hardware/grocery store for $4. We'll share the tank with the Aussie boat.

We're still planning on another "tour: - this one to the Tuneles which is supposed to be interesting. There are now nine boats in the harbor – three French, two Canadian, a Belgian, an Australian, a British, and us – the lone US boat. It seems the further west we head the fewer and fewer US boats we are seeing.

It's fiesta time – and we'll enjoy that over the weekend along with a few boat projects including restitching a sail. We still have our daily visitor to the back of our boat – our little sea lion friend. He has adopted Astarte as his personal home.

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