Page 5 of Ruthii Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito August 25th 2015

Geo: -0.223151, -78.5127After what turned out to be a long, lazy lie-in and a delicious breakfast in the opulent dining room of the hotel, complete with chirping birds in various cages, we joined our new travelling companions at their even more impressive hotel on the main square of the city - the Hotel Plaza Grande, the first luxury hotel built in Quito. We found ourselves a taxi and driver and began our journey out of the city to Papallacta Hot Springs complex in the mountainous region about an hour and half away.We drove out of the city, the narrow streets giving way to winding roads that looped and curled around the hilly terrain. Candy coloured houses were stepped into the hills, sugar-coated terraces providing a beautiful frame to the city below. As we left the city ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito August 24th 2015

Geo: -0.223151, -78.5127We were up early to embark on a walking tour of the city with our new travel buddies, Mark and Helen, and jumped in a taxi to the offices of Carpe Diem who were giving the tour. En route, I managed to speak enough pigeon Spanish to the driver to keep us entertained for the short ride into the city centre, passing by numerous monuments that he enthusiastically pointed out to us - the hospital his son was born in, the central local market and the mountains surrounding the city. After a short walk from the offices, we arrived at the imposing Basilica Church, one of the major landmarks of the city which can be seen from all over, standing as it does on the brow of a huge hill, its twin towers climbing ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 23rd 2015

Geo: -0.455928, -90.2747Boobies waited for us on the rocks as we skimmed over the surface of the water in our panga. It was sunrise on our final morning in the Galápagos and we were on our final excursion from the yacht. The sun shimmered on the surface of the water as its face appeared slowly over the horizon, pink clouds illuminated by its glow. We sailed into Black Turtle Cove, surrounded by mangroves, their green branches still in the morning light. Pelicans landed softly in the trees and shook their large wings. In front of us, what looked like huge white flowers dotted the mangrove bushes in the distance. As we got closer, however, the flowers began to move and took flight - revealing themselves to be beautiful tiny egrets that were roosting, ready to fly ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 22nd 2015

Geo: -0.533333, -90.35Thankfully, it was an incredibly calm night and we were able to grab a sizeable chunk of sleep, despite the excitement of yesterday. We awoke to a panga ride straight over to yet another powder-soft beach - something I had not expected to be a highlight of a Galápagos trip but we truly have been spoiled by the wonderful beaches we have had private access to on this trip and it will be incredibly difficult to ever book a beach destination without having a tinge of disappointment that it's not as deserted or as stunning as the ones we have visited on this trip. We took a long walk across the full length of the beach in both directions, each path ending at a a small lagoon, the trees surrounding each one reflecting on ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 21st 2015

Geo: -1.13333, -78.6After a lovely smooth crossing through the night, the water gently lapping the side of the boat and lulling us to sleep, we awoke to clear blue skies, the first cloudless day of the trip, the sea reflecting the sun with dazzling crystals dancing on the surface, and rocky outcrops in the distance, fringed by white sand. We Panga-ed over to the soft, white sand of Sullivan Bay, a wide stretch of beach with tiny, powdery grains. All around the outside, stretching above us and around us were the lava fields - petrified magma that had cooled instantly on meeting the cold water of the ocean, leaving folds of basalt - curved and melded into incredible formations.A playful sea lion was waiting on the shore as we arrived, splashing in the clear, shallow water ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 20th 2015

Geo: -0.533333, -90.35The boat had continued to rock throughout the night, rolling us around in the bed and it was with great relief that we docked in the early hours of the morning, although the swell continued to push the boat from side to side as we gingerly ate breakfast, our stomachs lurching with each wave. To our great relief, today was going to be a predominantly land-based day, meeting the new group joining us on board and enjoying the sights of Santa Cruz.We docked at the picturesque port and wandered along the seafront to the local fish market. Our heads were still convinced we were on the boat and we drunkenly staggered down the steps to the stall. Here we were met with a gang of noisy pelicans and two sea lions, all clamouring for ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 19th 2015

Geo: -1.29078, -90.434Another rocky night on board meant that we prised open our eyes feeling exhausted and grumpy. We were looking forward to snorkelling the Devil's crown, and our grumpiness was not helped by the news that this had been a mistake on our printed itinerary and thus we would be snorkelling an area called Campion Island, reputedly better than the Devil's Crown, we were assured. However, that was to be in the afternoon, before that we would visit the green and the white beaches of Floreana Island. We landed at the "Green beach" supposedly the sand here was coloured green by the Olivine crystals in the sand. It was more of a brown colour, but we were able to pick out the dazzling crystals as we picked up handfuls of the sand. Form here, we ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 18th 2015

Geo: -1.37865, -89.6732Wow. Last night was a very rocky night. Our cabin was rolling around on the waves, tilting back and forth. Side to side, the water sloshing against the steep metal sides of the ship, sometimes sounding like it was coming into the cabin. However, once we were docked, the waves had reduced to a gentle swell, the sea a stunning sapphire blue, and across the water we could see the inviting sands of Gardner Bay. We arrived by panga, a wet landing, wading ashore through the clear shallows to the blindingly white sand, as soft as cotton under our feet. Sea lions huddled together on the beach, flippers wrapped around each other, cuddled up as they slept. We heard a honking noise behind us as a tiny sea lion out came waddling out of ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 17th 2015

Geo: -2.82914, -78.8394We had been worried when booking the trip, because our research told us that August is the roughest month to visit the Galápagos, and being afflicted with sea sickness on a mill-pond, we weren't sure how we would fare. However, we are stocked up with buckets of medication should the weather prove to be terrible. Fortunately, our first night on board was a breeze, we barely noticed the boat moving through the night, and only knew we were sailing because of the noise of the anchor pulling up from the sea bed. We awoke to bright sunshine with a dramatic grey sweep on the horizon and enjoyed breakfast with playful sea lions surrounding the boat, one popping up every few moments for a huge gasp of air, before dipping away below the surf, giving ... read more

South America » Ecuador August 16th 2015

Geo: -0.899999, -89.61Were were up early for our flight, a group of 18 travellers all excited for the incredible adventure that lay ahead of us. As we landed, we were greeted by sweeping views below the plane - crystal waters of the brightest turquoise rippled onto white sand beaches, while lush green foliage and ash black rocks crept towards the shore. We glided down onto a tropical runway - the warm breeze greeting us as the doors opened, brightly coloured board buildings lining the airport and the surrounding area. We passed quickly through the airport, managing to gain a much-longed-for Galápagos Islands stamp in our passports. Soon, we were on the rickety bus, bobbing our way down from the airport into the small resort town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the main town of San Cristobal Island, ... read more

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