Getting close to the end of our travels now:-( but first we´ve got a little trip to the Galapgos Islands to tell you about. Left Quito airport, Ecuador and took a 4 hour flight to Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. From here we boarded our boat, the 'Galaxy', which would be our floating home for the next eight days. What a boat it was! Luckily we managed to land a great last minute deal and we ended up on a first class tour which was pure luxury - piping hot jet showers (a rarity in South America) , three course lunch and dinner served daily and best of all snacks and delicious fruit juices served up between meal times. If we thought we would lose weight on our travels we were sadly mistaken!
Won´t bore you with too many geographic details, but for those who don´t know, the first of the Islands were formed 5-10 million years ago by Volcanic eruptions and have never been joined to the South American mainland. Hence the rich and unique diversity of wildlife which has evolved differently here. It's also famous for inspiring Charles Darwin´s theory of evolution and natural selection. Right, lecture
over, now for the fun stuff. Over the next eight days we visited seven of the islands in the Galapagos Archipiélago, each one was different from the next with varying landscapes, fauna and wildlife. Lee was delighted to see lots of 'Boobies´ (by that I mean the blue and red footed bird variety!) particularly when they performed their famous mating dance inches away from us. I have to say that we never expected to turn into a couple of 'Twitchers´ but there are birds and then there are Galapagos birds!
This is what was so amazing and magical about the Galapagos, the wildlife is totally fearless of humans, meaning that you are able to get very close to them...in fact it's almost like you´re not there! On our various hikes and excursions we saw incredible white sand beaches and volcanic landscapes, these were home to giant tortoises (including 'Lonesome George´the last of his species), land and marine iguanas, nesting albatross, frigate birds, pelicans, huge hawks and lots and lots of sealions! That was just on land, but our absolute favourite had to be the marine life. We boarded the panga (dinghy) twice a day and were taken to some
amazing snorkeling spots. Here we swam with the sealions and Galapagos penguins, (which were both very cute and playful) also giant turtles, rays and last but definitely not least, Lee´s favourite the reef sharks! At the end of each day we would finish by spotting more wildlife activity from the comfort of the Galaxy sun-deck, sipping a glass of vino...as you do! We can fully understand why people say that there is no other place on earth like this, it really is a paradise and we hope it stays this way.
So here ends our trip of South America, it really has been an incredible adventure and a trip of a lifetime. But in typical Lou and Lee style it doesn´t quite end here. Next stop Central America, for a couple of weeks of Caribbean beach action and to catch up with some friends we've met on our travels.
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