Published: June 6th 2007June 6th 2007
Again it's been far too long since my last entry. I don't even know where to start.
After a cold week in Quito we took an overnight bus to Manta. The city of Manta isn't anything special. At least it's situated at Ecuador's coast, so the temperature is reallt nice. After just one night in Manta we took a regional bus. It took us south along the coast. It was a very scenic ride. We saw many small fisher villages and were the only tourists on the bus. However, the driver's way of driving was pretty scary we thought.
So, the following couple of days we spent riding the bus along the coast and hanging out in pitoresque villages. That week we did see some nice places. But after all it was just a way to kill time before going to Galapagos.
Two days before our flight to Galapagos we arrived in Guayaquil. The second biggest city in Ecuador. It's very different from Quito. It's warm and - at least the center - is very clean. We organized the last few things before our trip to the islands and were very much looking forward to it.
In Baltra (airport island in Galapagos) we met the other guys of our group and our guide. We then took a bus, a boat and a car before we arrived in Puerto Ayero on the island of Santa Cruz. There we got on the boat that was going to be our home for the next 8 days. The boat was rather small, but alright. The crew was nice and so were the group members.
I'm not gonna write about every single day in Galapagos. But to sum up: We visited 4 islands, saw tons of endemic plants and just as many sea turtles, huge tortoises (land turtles), sea lions (not seals), marine iguanas, darwin finches, crabs, pelicans, a huge manta ray and a lot more but I already forgot the names. It's incredible how close the animals come to the people. It's just so unreal. I was asking myself wether all those animals were just welltrained actors...
The food on the boat was great. Unfortunately I couldn't keep it three out of seven nights. Since the boat was so little and old it moved a lot when going from one island to another. After the fourth day I
kinda decided to stop eating anything else but soup. I thought that if my stomach has nothing to throw up then maybe it'll stop. This and a sea sickness pill helped me to get through the other nights. I never really enjoyed being on a boat anyway, but eight days certainly have been enough for quite a while...
Galapagos is an amazing place. ItÂ´s a great experience but unless one's really interested in all the sub species of plants and animals I think five days would do.
I was happy to be back in Guayaquil and even happier when two days later the ground under my feet stopped moving for good.
Because we'd had trouble with our credit cards the week before we couldn't book a flight to Lima. By the time we got back to Guayaquil the tickets had become so expensive that we decided to take the bus instead. So we got a ticket for a royal class bus. It really was royal class. It was very comfortable, with meals and about 4 movies. The 26 hours to Lima went by really fast and we even managed to save a night in a hostel. Because
it had been so easy we decided not to stay in Lima but to take another royal class bus to Puno on Lake Titicaca. So we spent another 22 hours in the bus and got from sea level to about 3800m above it. When we finally arrived in Puno I didn't wether it was due to the long ride or the altitude but I definitely didn't feel well. I went to bed straight away.
There are more photos below