The rich farmer

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From the lava tunnel it is only a short drive to a nearby farm where we go to visit. The farm is up in the high lands and the owner used to be a poor farmer. He had a lot of trouble with the local wildlife. He continuously had to rebuild the fences around his farm trying to keep the wildlife out – but the giant tortoises just kept on using their big frames to smash the fence and eat the crops. Finally he just gave up – took down the fences and let the tortoises in – and now he charge the tourist 3 dollars to see the tortoises up close. From being a poor farmer he is now one of the richest farmers in the highlands apparently making up to 300 dollars a day in entry fees.

Tortoise walking at the farm in the highlands of Santa Cruz

We pay the entry fee and walk into the farm to spot tortoises. They are pretty easy to spot – they are big – and even if you don’t walk fast you still looking like an Olympic sprinter compared to these slow giants. We walk around for a while taking photos of random tortoises – there are many of them so it is easy to find a few making a pose for you. After a bit I start looking more at other wildlife than the tortoises – there is a few birds flying around the area many of which I have never seen before – they might be endemic to the islands.

Try to get out of the tortoise shell

Out in the back part of the farm is a mud pool which attracts the tortoises to get a quick roll in the mud. After they been down in the mud you can see how they are walking around with a lot of mud on the top of their shield.

You can have something to eat or drink at the farm but after looking at the tortoises for a while we decide just to go back to the city and see what there is to find in the major town of the island instead of this small farm.

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