CNH Tours - Cultural and Natural Heritage Tours Galapagos
Wednesday May 9, 2012
Tortoise Accident - Road to Wall of Tears Closed for Good
Last week, a giant tortoise that happened to be on the sand road
leading to Puerto Villamil from the "Wall of Tears" visitor site
was struck by a motor vehicle and sustained serious injuries.
In response to this accident, and to a similar incident on the same road, the Galapagos National Park Service has decided to close this road to motor vehicles so that the 350 tortoises so painstakingly reared in captivity and released in that area, their original habitat, are spared this additional threat to their long term survival. 350 turtles have been repatriated to this area since 2005. They are of the species Geochelone gunteri and Geochelone Vicina.
The Park decided to restore these tortoise to the wild so that the visit to the Wall of Tears, besides having an important historical connotation, would be supplemented by the observation of turtles in their natural habitat. The Wall of Tears will now only be accessible on foot or bicycle.
CNH Tours has visited the Wall of Tears on several occasions, and supports the Park's decision. The walk to this site from town is about 6 km return (e.g. about 4 miles), along a sandy road, following wild beaches and through mangrove forests. It's very flat and offers a nice "zen" moment for those taking the time to just enjoy the scenery. CNH Tours suspects it could be hard to cycle there, given the very loose and deep sand on much of the road.