Darwin Center

Sat and The Darwin Center. Darwin Center

I think we’re really getting into this laid back island life. Yogo had mentioned that Mom would be making a tamal for our breakfast and I was really looking forward to trying. Sat was the big market day and if we had been willing to be up and out at 5:00am we could have gone with Yolanda to the market. It sounded exciting but in the nick of time we opted for a pass. We both have had many market days and although always a fun experience we remembered this part of the trip is the laid back experience with no guilt.
We were up and ready for an 8:00am breakfast and Yolanda was right on time. The tamals were quite big and wrapped in banana leaves for a very nice presentation. We also had sliced watermelon and orange juice. I was anxious to see what the tamal was hiding inside the beautiful bright green leaf that had been steamed. I first encountered a nice exterior of masa dough that hid the shreds i
of chicken. I promptly removed the chicken to Wayne’s plate and tasted the masa. It was so richly flavorful so I’m guessing it was made with a good chicken stock. There also was a side of salsa that was the color of chipotle sauce but had a totally different taste that was very interesting with lots of shards of veges and tasted so yummy with just the right amount of heat. It was the perfect accompaniment to the masa and I ate every drop. Perfect meal.

Off we trekked up the road to explore the Darwin Center. The main focus for viewing is the tortoise breeding exhibits where they have collected just hatched babies from all the islands and brought them to the center to be raised and then rereleased back into their native habitat. They were so adorable and after the nursery we visited the juveniles who were in native habitat and learning to climb and survive. We knew that the most famous tortoise of all “Lonesome George” had passed a couple of years ago leaving his two ladies without a “boy toy”. Well it seems that the San Diego zoo had a male, “Diego”, of the exact same species which they have loaned to The Darwin Center. As the story was told to us, Lonesome George was not exactly a “frisky” male but Diego got right down to business and in a very short amount of time there were babies every where. Diego turned out to be quite the stud and just what this species needed to continue on.
There were quite a few natural habitats each containing a few of each of the species. There are noticeable differences in the size and shape of the shell. At this center they also have a breeding program for the iguanas which are quite endangered due to dogs, cats etc and goats which eat their natural food. Very interesting and informative center.

We sat down with Yogo and he is helping us plan a trip off island for Mon or Tues and also on one of those days we will go up island and see the tortoise out in the wild and up close and personal.

Another beautiful sunset and we opted for happy hour mojitos to accompany the dazzling view. I must interject here that I am not fond of mojitos as they usually are too sweet and too minty for me but Wayne said a mojito sounded good and it was “two for one” so I said OK, sounds good. What a delightful surprise to take a sip and have the refreshing flavor of cold lime juice hit my mouth with a delightful underlying hint of mint and just the essence of sweet to take away the citrus bite but yet not cover the tanginess of the refreshing flavor. A huge “Que Yummo” to that mojito!!

It was Sat night and the food vendors were out so Wayne bought a bag of popcorn which is always a special treat for me.

Tomorrow is what had gotten to be known as “Maleria meds Sunday”. We started the weekly pill two weeks before we went into the jungle in Peru and will need to continue the weekly process for four weeks after we leave the Amazon on our Ecuador trek. Knock on wood, so far no side effects!!!!!

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