Dunlappie Doc

Dunlappie drifters

Dunlappie Doc

Ross & Shirley..Live in Portmahomack, Ross-Shire, Scotland... married 45 years (and still talking to each other occasionally) with 4 children, Tracy, Craig, Kelly & Emma, their spouses, Louise, Cris, and Jane, 4 Grandchildren, and a large Spinone called Dougal. Retired after 40 years at the coal face. Me, not Dougal. Now full time Leisure Consultant. Love travelling and sharing our experiences with anyone who's daft enough to listen!



South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 18th 2019

Pleasant surprise on checking in, to find that we had randomly been allocated the Penthouse Suite. Had a goodbye dinner at a wonderful quirky restaurant, called, you guessed it, Magic Bean. Had a decent sleep in cosiest bed ever, and late breakfast as no alarm needed for first time in 3 weeks! And you thought this was a holiday! Then big repack and off to airport for long return flight via Amsterdam, to Edinburgh, followed by 4 hr drive north to Portmahomack, which, according to BBC weather app, is a cool -3. Only 24 degs less than Quito....better get the fleece handy! Customary reminiscence about another fantastic travel experience, and, as always, an acute appreciation of how fortunate and privileged we are to have been able to do this. Never taken for granted. .....and now it's ... read more
View from the Quito Hilton

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos November 17th 2019

Ridiculously early breakfast make transfer by boat and bus to tiny airport. Said our goodbyes to Adrianna and our crew members, who had looked after us so superbly, and then, boarded our 2 hr flight back to Quito, after the usual purchase of tacky souvenirs at hugely inflated airport prices. And what of our travelling companions? Generally great characters with fascinating careers. Mick and Ita from Ireland, now living in London. Great company and constant humour. Think a cross between Father Ted and Mrs Brown of TV fame and you've got her! She is a a high flying Nurse in London, teaching serious illness recognition, Resuscitation and Acute Life Support to Doctors and nurses. Fascinating career and a laugh a minute. Great dinner table company. Oeysten and Linda from Norway were great company, with a wicked ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santiago Island November 16th 2019

Buccaneer Cove was a great place to wake up. A very full day yesterday resulted in a surprisingly decent sleep, despite apparently quite stormy conditions during the night. Panga cruise alongside the cliffs to see yet more seabirds, then more snorkelling, (see a pattern emerging here?) but this time in a sea cave. Massive shoals of fish but little not previously seen. Other folk saw white tipped reef sharks and 6' Lang Ray's, but I missed them this time. We sailed further north east for several hours, to tiny Rabida Island, before mooring in a sheltered bay for the afternoon's hike on Island. There were fantastic views, among lava rock and giant cactii. Beautiful pink flamingos on a green lagoon overlooking the unique red sandy beach, with Pelicans and Blue footed Boobies diving for fish in ... read more
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Frigate Bird

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santiago Island November 15th 2019

Pirates and Painters Awoke in Tagus Bay on North West coast of Isabela Island, after a decent nights rest. The bay was fairly small with high hills all round. We were very surprised, and somewhat saddened to see white painted graffiti high up on the cliff faces, mainly boat names and some dates. Some of these were dated back to 1934, long before protection and regulation applied to the islands. Apparently this bay was a popular stop of for pirates and Whalers, as it was so sheltered. Still, the graffiti, which was very high up the cliff face, was totally alien to these beautiful islands. First expedition was a hike up past Darwin Lake, a highly saline body of water occupying a crater rim, high above sea level. The salinity precluded the existence of any fish. ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 14th 2019

Another rough night, and awoke to mild panic and a less than gentle chiding that I had forgotten to set the alarm....only 30 mins to get ready for breakfast and prepare for another busy day of activity.. We had moored in Elizabeth Bay on the west coast of Isabela..the largest island of the Galapagos. Our Panga took us on a gentle trip around the mangrove inlets, where we saw turtles, and many fish in the shallow water, many more birds, including Pelicans, penguins and the rare flightless cormorant. On return to the boat we were given the opportunity to jump in and swim or snorkel round the boat. The water was a little colder than before, despite being almost on the equator, due to us being now exposed to the cooler Cromwell Current coming from the ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 13th 2019

Not too good a nights sleep due to a lot of pitching and rolling, but found ourselves in a delightful bay on south east coast of Isabela Island. Panga ride to a decent jetty at the little town of Puerto Villamil where dozens of marine Iguanas and sea lions lay around in the sun, in the middle of the road, on the beach, jetty, and even commandeered the benches! Went for 7Km hike up to rim of massive crater of Sierra Negra Volcano, withe largest basaltic caldera in the Galapagos, thankfully inactive. Currently. Returned to boat again for decent lunch of ceviche (prawn, fish, and octopus), before returning to shore to visit a breeding sanctuary for Galapagos giant tortoises. I hadn't known that Galapagos means 'Giant Tortoise', from which the archipelago got its name. If not ... read more
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Sally Lightfoot Crabs

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santiago Island November 11th 2019

Awoke to find boat already at anchor, in a beautiful bay on the east coast of Bartolome. This area is mainly lava fields and displayed many different geological features of volcanic eruptions over different episodes of eruption. After breakfast we took the Pange again to land at some steps cut into the lava rock and ascended to the top of the lava hill, observing the many volcanic spouts and formations around us. There was little fauna here on the barren landscape, but we did see Pelican, Lizards, iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs (which were virtually everywhere), lighting up the rocks with their brilliant red colours. Before lunch we snorkelled along the rocky cliff side and saw many white tip reef shark, starfish, sea cucumber, and thousands of highly coloured fish. The coral here tended to be ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Genovesa Island November 11th 2019

We awoke to find ourselves in beautiful Darwin Bay, on Genovesa Island, then transferred by Panga to Darwin beach for a hike round Genovesa which is mainly volcanic lava fields with dried up trees, some lagoons, and a beautiful beach, populated by sea lions, Marine Iguanas, and dozens of species of birds, many nesting on the ground shrub on the beach. These animals and birds have not learned to be afraid of humans, as the islands were totally uninhabited until relatively recently, and are 600 miles from the Ecuador coast. I could not believe that we could walk right up to them, including ground nesting birds, and they didn't flinch. In fact we had to be very careful not to stand on them at times! In the afternoon we snorkelled off the boat at El Barranco, ... read more
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Adrianna

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island November 10th 2019

Arrived at Galapagos Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, mid morning and transferred to our Motor Yacht,'Yollita 2'. No one told us what happened to Yollita 1 and we didn't really want to know. Whilst putting on life jackets to board our Panga (motorised rib dinghy) to take us to the yacht, which would take us to the north coast of Santa Cruz island, we saw Galapagos Sea Lions, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, and Frigate birds. Yollita was a large motor yacht with 8 double guest cabins and a crew of 8. Our cabin was spacious although fairly basic, but with a good bathroom including large shower. After a decent lunch, we set off in the Pangas for our first exploration of the beach (Bachus beach) and some beach snorkel practice. Saw Red footed Boobies, frigate birds, marine ... read more
Sea Lion
Red Footed Booby
Lazy flight over Bachus Beach

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Genovesa Island November 9th 2019

Well here we go! Dreamed of this trip for years and booked it over a year ago. Because of riots and Martial law, which settled only a week or so before we were due to depart, and GAdventures cancelling all Ecuador trips, we didn't know if we could go until only 3 days before our departure date. The indigenous population had invaded Quito in their thousands and blocked every road into, and within the city, and threatened to burn the parliament building, causing the entire parliament to flee to Guayancil. There were many injuries and a few fatalities due mainly to the heavy handedness of the police, following declaration of State of Emergency and imposition of curfews. They were protesting about austerity and specifically, the removal of fuel subsidies, brought about by the IMF insistence on ... read more




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