Our past few days on a boat have been fantastic. The scenery and animals have been fantastic, as has been the food and the snorkelling.
Our schedule worked out well, since the boat had gone to the Darwin centre in the morning, something we’d already done, and in the afternoon the API Call ErrorSanta Cruz highlands were on the schedule. The main attraction was the API Call Errortortoise API Call Errorsanctuary, basically just some private property that has ideal conditions and lots of food for the tortoises, but with open access to the national park. Our guide talked about how the tortoises had been decimated during the 18th and 19th centuries, when they were a popular food supply for pirates. Since the API Call Errortortoises can live for up to a year without eating, they can be a fresh source of meat when a ship doesn’t have many ports it can safely stop in for resupply. It’s estimated that about 300,000 tortoises were taken or killed during this period, and since they have such long lives – 150-200 years or so – recovering the population is a slow process.
Also on tap was a walk through a lava tube – basically just a cave, though interesting in that it was almost as perfectly regular, more like a subway tunnel than a cave.