Blogs from San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, South America


Dear All Greetings once more from the Galapagos Islands! These little gems of land in the Pacific Ocean are just stunners, and I’ve really had the most amazing time here. I am currently writing this one from my fantastic eco-hostel I’m staying in here, about 2km outside of the main town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal, the Cucuve (Mockingbird) Eco-Hostel, surrounded by lovely Galapagos nature and overlooking a beautiful garden with fruit trees. I have indeed found an idyllic lodging in which to spend my four nights on this other main island of the Galapagos, purposefully chosen for its serene and back-to-nature setting. I plan to upload this text onto my blog and publish it when I’m back in Guayaquil tomorrow, however, as the Internet connection here is really not good. ... read more
Blue-Footed Boobies
Waved Albatross In-Flight
Me, Swimming with Sea Lions

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island September 9th 2018

We pack our bags and prepare to leave the lovely Gran Queen Beatriz for the last time. First stop is a visit to the Interpretation Centre which explains the rather bleak history of the islands. There has been a lot of exploitation, parts have been used as penal colonies, work camps, the land and sea stripped of resources. Now the local and tourist populations are soaring and the administration is starting to wrestle with water supplies and protecting the envirinment again. However it feels like they are being proactive. We have one last walk around and take some photos of sealions -you would think by now we woukd be over them! Then we boare the plane back to the very comfortable Le Parc hotel in Quito where we arrive about 6pm. A final dinner with the ... read more
San Cristóbal Bird life
San Cristóbal
Leaving San Cristóbal

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island September 8th 2018

Our last full day in Galapagos and it really is a full day. We start with a steep walk up the volcanic Punta Pitt on Isla Cristobal. we are rewarded with plenty of photo opportunities of the Red and Blue footed boobies. This is quite a busy spot with lots of tourists. We have been spoilt up until now by having each stop more or less to ourselves. We find these intruders rude and noisy. On the way back I see the very rare Blue Footed Australian Booby and it’s smaller mate with darker plumage - also known as Wayne and Narelle. The landscape is striking with high, very steep volcanic rocks, stark flat areas and a few scrubby bushes. After we clamber back down to the golden beach, it is time for another snorkel. The ... read more
Australian Blue Footed Booby and Mate
Red Footed Booby - Punta Pitt
Blue Footed Booby - Punta Pitt

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island September 3rd 2017

The panamericana cuts through deep canyons and crosses high passes going from Colombia to Ecuador. We head straight to the capital Quito where we arrive just after the Festival of Lights has started, meaning the city centre is shut and the streets are full with thousands of people admiring the beautiful colourful light installations projected on the antique buildings. We get our taxi through a road block to drop us as close as possible to our hostel in the city centre. We spend the weekend walking around both the historical centre and the more modern part of town. Quito is a beautiful, lively city and feels very friendly and safe, unlike many capitals in this part of the world. We enjoy the Festival of Lights every evening and we end up in a small bar where ... read more
Busy streets of Quito during Fiesta de la Luz
Busy streets of Quito during Fiesta de la Luz
Fiesta de la Luz

Ah Galapagos, the place has always held a fascination for me; the diversity of land and marine animals, volcanoes, land of Darwin's origins of Evolution and the sheer remoteness, what's not to like?? This has always been in my top ten of must sees, and now it was time to explore... The conventional way to see the Galapagos is aboard a boat and cruising from spot to spot, but after seeing how bloody expensive this option was we decided to island hop our way around...while not seeing as much perhaps there was still plenty of opportunity for wildlife watching and best of all at our own pace (after speaking to several travelers over the course of our trip we discovered that the cruises were indeed pretty cool and that last minute opportunities were available at a ... read more
Taking flight...
On the way to Kicker Rock...
I'm fabulous!

unser vorerst letzter tauchtag auf den galapagos-inseln beginnt etwas bewölkt, aber immerhin nicht regnerisch und bekanntlich ist unter wasser eh alles ganz anders. kickers rock ist das ziel und so fahren wir gemeinsam mit zwei weiteren tauchern und einigen schnorchlern in einem recht gemütlichen boot los. erste station: strand für den check-tauchgang und dann wird es ernst. nahe an der harten brandung um die felsformation springen wir ins immer noch viel zu kalte nass. unter uns fällt das riff mindestens genauso steil in die tiefe, wie es über uns in die höhe ragt. ein bisschen bedrohlich wirkt es ehrlich gesagt schon, die steilwand verliert sich im dunkel der tiefe. spärlich bewachsen und mit mäßiger weitsicht wäre das riff alleine nicht allzu schmeichelnd. dann kommt aber auch schon die erste schildkröte und weiter unten werden wir fast ... read more
beach chillen
mehr beach chillen
darwin und ein treuer anhänger

unserem letzten frühstück an bord der “treasure of galapagos” folgt ein ausflug ins hiesige interpretationszentrum. wie genau das denn jetzt mit el niño, den wasservermengungen und den auslösen dazu (vornehmlich wir!), vor sich geht, lernen wir dort. unser gepäck wird ans dock gebracht und schon sind wir wieder auf uns gestellt. ein letzter kaffee mit unserer liebgewonnenen schiffsgruppe (die engländer ausgenommen) und wir beziehen unser erfreulich schönes hostel, casa gosen. das kleine städtlein, in dem wir hier die nächsten zwei tage verbringen, beheimatet ein paar tausend menschen und einen flughafen. viele schöne strände sind nur wenige gehminuten rechts und links am ufer entlang zu finden. einer davon ist playa loberia. am weg entlang der schwarzen lava-felsen sonnen sich die größten land-iguana, die wir bislang gesehen haben. dunkel glänzend mit vermeintlich versc... read more

I finished up at the school by playing ‘pass the parcel’ with my 6 year olds. I thought that I was pretty safe with plastic motor bikes and little dolls as my surprise gifts. It worked reasonably well until the first pink motor bike appeared. It seems that gender colours are already attributed at this age and the poor little kid got a round of laughter from his mates. Little did they know that there were 2 more to be distributed! Fortunately for me, I hadn’t done my homework on how many kids I actually had in the class. This meant I had over-catered and that I could swap the pink for more appropriate colours of green or orange…..whew!! Next was my senior year but unfortunately I missed this class. I hadn’t been given an official ... read more
still walking
Community centre
view of the street with quarry in the background

Today’s events were a bit more low-key, but still started early. Feeling badly about constantly hounding the kids to be on time for all the outings, we gave them the option of opting out of today’s activities. Both initially insisted they would skip the morning activity to sleep in, but at the last minute decided to pull it together and join us. This pattern was repeated for the afternoon activity as well, making us feel a little bit more confident that we hadn’t been torturing them. We visited the island of San Cristobal, one of the oldest and most mature islands and home to one of the few human settlements on the islands. Unlike most of the islands, there are natural reserves of fresh water here (due to the more mature landscape’s ability to retain the ... read more
Town of Porto Baquerizo Moreno
View from Hill on San Cristobal
Statue of Darwin on San Cristobal

So yeah....apparently sharks in the Galapagos are vegetarians, or so I have been told by Miguel who owns the house where I am staying. He, his wife Marisol and 11 year old son Areal told me this with straight faces and expected me to believe them. Problem being that I may have been misunderstanding their English (or their Spanish) as is often the case when things are lost in translation. Either way I didn't believe them! But I am getting ahead of myself, as usual. Here I am! in the most famous archipelago in the world!!! I can't even believe it myself. I have been here now for 10 days and still find that I am pinching myself nearly every day. The flight from Quito started off a little stressful with the traffic absolutely chockers. Let ... read more
The kids all grow up wandering inbetween rocks and sea lions.
It' a hard life!
Can I play?

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