August 6, 2004

Warm Welcome on Isla Isabela, Galapagos

In La Libertad we went sailing with the kids from the Puerto Lucia Yacht Club and their wonderful trainer Diego.

Last Thursday we sailed to Isla Isabela in the Galapagos in 5 days. After 2 days the whole crew was adapted to the Pacific waves and were able to enjoy the 6086 food on board.

Today we had a radio interview here on this beautyful island and visited the school Mentor Gamboa. The children also participated in the international drawing contest and we were able to donate Caran d'Ache colours to them.

In the last expedition report we forgot to thank: invitation from the Swiss embassy to theater Mumenschanz; breakfast at the Swiss Corner Restaurant.

In the first day we already met some wonderful people here on Isabela and got a lot of help: Pablo Gordillo, president of Isabela; Susanna Villagomez, tourism director; Marry Medranda; Mariana Ceveillos.

Posted by dario at 2:39 AM

August 12, 2004

Isabela's wildlife

Isla Isabela, Galapagos, Ecuador, day 618

Biking total: 60 days, 2979 km, 21'000 altimeters.
Climbing total: 240 days, 3151 km, 118'400 altimeters.
Sailing total: 318 days, 9563 nm, 26 altimeters (Panama Channel)

Yesterday, I got the message that one of my
best friends died in the river Aare rescuing his two daughters. He died on the same day we arrived on Isabela.
Yesterday was his funeral in Switzerland and I feel very sad that I can not be there.
My only comfort: We met in the sky with hangglaiding; - the river Aare goes to the Rhine and than to the Ocean; - so at the end we will meet again in the Ocean. His dead reflects his live: he sacrifices for others till the end...

Compared to this accident the rubbery on mainland Ecuador is nothing: At the last day somebody took Sabine's purse with all the food money (US 540.-), credit card, ID etc. at the port captain's office in Salinas!

In this hard time, nature and its wildlife gives us a lot of energy: wildlife-1, wildlife-2, wildlife-3, wildlife-4, wildlife-5, wildlife-6, wildlife-7, wildlife-8, wildlife-9, wildlife-10, wildlife-11, wildlife-12.

During the last few days, the whole TOPtoTOP crew climbed the highest volcano in the Galapagos: - lava, . Jacques J├Ârin, the president of the Swiss Club of Ecuador, joined us with his wife Arianne. They supported us with 15 kg Floralp cheese; - and locals supported us with 6111 fruits. Many thanks also for the local TOPtoTOP coordination team: Pablo Gordillo (president of Isabela), Susanna Villagomez (tourism director) and Mery Medranda.

Today we met a environmental group: the iguana kids, which care about the turtles. In the morning we have been in the school Odilo Aguilar up in the highlands. All children partizipated in the drawing contest.

Preview: Next year the Swiss Cruising Club will celebrate its 50 anniversary. The TOPtoTOP crew will try to pass as many latitudes as possible: from the very South to the very North! This is going to be the TOPtoTOP crew's TOPtoTOP crew's contribution to the CCS-anniversary.

Posted by dario at 10:01 PM