Galapagos - Day 1

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September 5th 2018
Published: September 10th 2018
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Another early-ish start today, leaving the luxury of the hotel at 4:30 to fly to Isla Baltra, the first of our Galápagos Islands. We have a stop off in Quayaquil along the way and I discover the Young Sheldon tv series - the precursor to The Big Bang - so snort with laughter rather than snore on the 3 hour trip.

Everyone is obviously very excited to arrive and after the friendly customs people relieve us of USD100 we head off on a bus, then a ferry then another bus ending up after about an hour at Porto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz.

We transfer across to the Queen Beatrix, our home along with 14 others, for the next 5 days. The cabins are spacious and the meals are rather good. The crew are friendly. The barman and I chatted after lunch to decide tonight’s cocktail!

Our first excursion was to the Charles Darwin research centre where much effort is going into the breeding of the different types of tortoises. They raise them there until they are big enough to survive then relocate them to the wild. On the short walk there we see iguanas, seals, red crabs and all manner of cute little birds literally lying or hopping about the street.

The tortoises are pretty amazing, there are probably a hundred or so there of all sizes. They are good to photograph as they barely move. The diving pelicans however are a different story and I have deleted about 20 photos of blurred wings going out of shot. While we wait to return aboard we watch some very serious volleyball games with plenty of cash changing hands. We also see quite a few real sharks cruising beneath the wharf. We think twice about the snorkeling tomorrow.

I have found a couple of amateur photography buddies so I won’t be the only one lagging along at the end of the group.

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