As promised, the first update to our activity during the Missing section. One reader, my friend Pam, had wondered whether, in view of the clear antipathy between ourselves and our hosts, we had decided to leave the Alma and seek alternative travel. This was never an option. The Galapagos may be different now, but back then there was very little to it – not much more than a small village. There may have been, even then, more developed parts of the islands, but of course we never saw them, and it did seem that we were pretty much at the administrative hub. So, nowhere to stay; no alternative means of continuing our journey (there were no other yachts when we were there); and no administrative mechanism for allowing us to stay. Quite the reverse, in fact, as tourism of any kind seemed to be actively discouraged, and/or ridiculously expensive (I imagine that there were expensive scientific tours from Ecuador.)
So we left with Jack and Alma. We had seen virtually nothing of one of the most remote and evocative places on earth – as I have said, Val maintained the impression that she had barely made it to the shoreline. But actually, even if there had been the possibility of leaving, we would have stayed with the Alma. The deal was that they were taking us to Tahiti, with international links, a lively yachting scene, a more attractive life (we assumed) once we were there.