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Published: December 15th 2011
So, 4 nights and 5 days in the famous wildlife haven of Galapagos. Where do I start?
Thinking back about all the memories of this amazing trip has got me wondering how on earth I would fit everything in to just one or even two blogs? The constant wonder of seeing animals we had never seen before, the landscape and beautiful waters of the islands we visited, and the fun we had with both the people on the trip, and the crew aboard the Pelikano. All these things are buzzing round my head, and I’m unsure as to how to put all these nostalgic thoughts down in writing. Therefore, I have decided I’m just not going to try. What I am going to do is try to write about a few of the highlights for us during this trip, and post more photos than we ever have due to the amazing things we have been able to see in this spectacular part of the world.
Before I start harping on about the landscape and wildlife, the first thing I want to do is talk about the boat itself, our guides during the trip, and the crew aboard the Pelikano.
Without these, the trip would still have of course been amazing as I guess it’s hard to have a bad time in the Galapagos, but these guys really made it special. Our main guide Pato, was a fountain of information having grown up in the Galapagos, and was as proud and passionate about these islands now, as I imagine he has ever been. The crew of the boat also excelled in every area, and made everything so simple. They simply couldn’t do enough for you throughout the entire trip, plus the food was incredible. So there it is, a quick ‘big up’ to the staff and crew on-board the Pelikano and a great big thank you for making our trip so amazing.
Anyway, enough about humans on this trip for now, let’s move onto the wildlife. We didn’t visit every island in the Galapagos as I think this is even difficult on the 8 day trip, and therefore we didn’t see ‘everything’ there is to see here (if that’s ever even possible!), however what we did see was beyond anything we could have imagined. Not only did we manage to see some of these animals in their natural habitat,
but we were never much further than 2 metres away from them. Touching or interacting too much with the animals is strictly forbidden, and trying to be conscientious travellers, we of course abided by these rules, however some of the animals here have their own rules, and sticking to these parameters is sometimes very difficult indeed!
One of the great constants throughout the trip were the Sea Lions. They are everywhere! ( hence the crazy amount of pictures of them! ) Whether it’s lying on the beach of an island, swimming round the boat, upon cliff faces, or even playing in the water near the shore, you cannot come here and not see them, which is awesome! For those reading that know Donna well, you will realise this sounds like her worst nightmare, for those who do not, let me explain. Donna has serious issue with coming too close to animals. This includes my cats, and her Dad’s dog…she won’t even stroke them. It’s not that she doesn’t like them, but just has a fear of ‘touching’ them, and if she thinks they are getting too close, she tends to freeze, or hide behind someone! Back to the Galapagos…….
Being so close to these amazing creatures is an amazing experience. Watching them interact with their siblings, and mothers etc is priceless, but for Donna, coming so close to these animals was also a massive step, and I think because of that we both enjoyed it even more. Whilst snorkelling (another usually frightening thing for Donna due to the creatures in the water), Donna again threw her usual inhibitions away, and got right involved. This couldn’t have been easy when the Sea Lions like to get so close and ‘play’ with the snorkelers. Whilst ‘playing’ one cheeky pup decided to take a bite out of Donna’s flipper fin which was fairly amusing! More so to see Donna’s reaction! They get really close, and when diving down to get a closer look, one of the sea lions swam with me, and upon reaching the surface, came right to my face and seemed to either blow me a kiss or sneeze! Either way, I was well chuffed! One of the girls on the trip commented ‘Ah, there just so cute and stinky’, which I think pretty much hits the nail on the head!
Other Wildlife we encountered whilst here, consisted
of several different species of birds such as the Blue footed Boobie, the Nazca Boobie, and the huge Albatross to name a few. These birds were all over the Galapagos, but we caught hundreds of them nesting on one of the islands which again was an amazing sight. We were also lucky enough to see the ‘Boobie dance’ and the dance of the Albatross which are suspected as being dances to show their partners that they love them….! Both were amazing to witness.
Other amazing creatures on the trip included Dolphins, sharks, hundreds of fish, lizards, hawks, crabs, tortoises, turtles and iguanas. All of which we were lucky enough to see first-hand, and close up (although the shark was a blob in the water for us as we missed it!). Again, I can’t talk about everything as there is just too much. What we were lucky enough to see though, was our very own Dolphin show in the middle of the sea. The Dolphins seemed to enjoy the attention we were giving them, as when we were all hanging over the side of the boat trying to get a glimpse, they all started ‘surfing’ the waves of the boat
as well as treating us to a few leaps to and from the water. As mentioned before in previous blogs, we had seen Dolphins, however never really in their natural habitat, and this made it really quite special.
Lastly, I wanted to mention the landscapes. I hadn’t seen a whole bunch of Galapagos footage before coming here, but I had an idea what the islands looked like in my mind. I was however completely blown off guard with some of the scenery. Each island had it’s own unique feel to it, and everywhere seemed to be completely different to the next place. The colours, trees, plants and lakes on the islands were stunning. Add the beaches into that mix, and you have just about every type of landscape possible for this part of the world. Being on the boat in the evenings sipping a couple of beers also had it’s merits, and when the sun started to set whilst in the middle of the water, and the sun crept behind one of the jagged mountains in the background, you just knew you were somewhere amazing, and didn’t want that moment to end.
Saying goodbye to the Galapagos isn’t
easy, but we just feel so privileged to have been, and are in awe of anyone who has this paradise to look forward to. I hope this inspires others to visit this extraordinary place, and if there are too many pictures…tough, coz we love ‘em!
So, for now, back to Quito!
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