Blogs from Galápagos, Ecuador, South America

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It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most receptive to change. Charles Darwin After visiting the Galapagos one imagines Darwin was thinking about the iguinas when he made the above quote. The marine iguanas are interesting creatures to observe. We read the beauty of the Galapagos can’t be explained it must be experienced and we found that to be true. These marvelously blackish reptiles are a quintessential example of adaptation. This final post from the Galapagos will finish up our time on the yacht and the two days we spent at a resort. After all, when you've spent some time working hard at observing some fantastic wildlife, you just might need a night or two of luxury at a resort. If you missed our first two ... read more
Flamingo pair
Papallacta Hot Spring
Babies in the Sanctuary

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island February 27th 2023

Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. Ibn Battuta On the oft chance you missed our previous blog...here's the link. Join us for part two of the Galapagos adventure. Life on a Galápagos cruise offers a great deal of variety. Most of our week was spent taking zodiacs to rather desserted islands for hiking or wandering while observing, enjoying and stalking animals or doing a zodiac coastal exploration of rock formations where the birds, iguanas, and other wildlife enjoyed congregating. It never ceased to amaze us how the animals didn't seem to mind if we came up close. They weren't posing or anything, but there was a sense they had no fear from these weird beings dressed somewhat oddly and so eager to take their photo. Perhaps they simply decided we ... read more
Blue Footed Boobie
Land based iguana
Grapsus grapsus....crab of the Galápagos

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Española Island February 26th 2023

I was thinking about starting the blog with a saccharine sweet story of having been lulled to sleep by the rocking of the ship from the gentle waves. Cool ocean breezes would have danced over me as I peacefully slumbered. The reality is that I hit the bed and crashed like a frat boy after Homecoming Weekend. I was shattered and the death-like sleep I enjoyed was the cure I needed. After a nice breakfast buffet and meeting some more of the fellow travelers, it was time for a wet landing at Gardner Bay on Espanola Island. Into the dinghy we went. Life jackets on, Ecuadorian Handshake executed, and off we sailed over the turquoise water towards to most pristine white sand beach. The point of this excursion was to enjoy the beach, which I did ... read more
Gaurding the Island
Nazca Booby and Eggs
Map of our Trip

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 25th 2023

Wow! ….the Journey begins…. The big blue marble we live on contains a plethora of incredible and unique places to visit. Whether it is the topography, the natural wonders, the flora or the fauna, our earth never seems to disappoint. Scientists love to research and speculate how our planet became the way it is in the present day. Of the many places to visit, the Galápagos Islands is an absolute must for those searching for a truly mesmerizing look at species not seen elsewhere. The mention of the Galápagos also brings forward one of the more interesting scientists of the last few centuries…a chap named Darwin. His five-year journey on the HMS Beagle resulted in basically throwing the scientific world on its ear a few decades later when he published the famous “On the Origin of ... read more
Wandering North Seymour Island
Follow the Trail
Brilliant Reflections

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island February 25th 2023

These were the ominous words given in the nightly briefing regarding the choice between a Zodiac excursion along the shoreline or a hike at Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island, which was described as challenging. The choice was simple in my mind. This is the only place in the Galapagos to see 3 kinds of boobies, and I wanted to see the red footed booby. Good, bad, or indifferent, I was going hiking and was glad that I had the volcano climb under my belt to boost my confidence. After a wet landing on the beach at Punta Pitt, we changed into our hiking shoes, and started the hike through a narrow, rocky ravine. It was not as treacherous as I had anticipated, which made me happy as well as the fact that we were doing ... read more
Blue Footed Boobies
Wilson
Red Footed Booby

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 24th 2023

Our morning started with a 3:30 pick up to take us to the airport. Not my favorite time of day, but even I was up and ready for this. After almost a year of planning and waiting, it was time to fly to the Galapagos Islands. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened, tray table stowed and your seat is in the full upright, most uncomfortable position because we are cleared for takeoff. Our flight had to stop at Guayaquil for 45 minutes to pick up travelers before heading approximately 600 miles out to sea, landing on Baltra Island. All flights to the Islands depart from Quito or Guayaquil. At the airport we spotted two ladies who had been on our tour at the real middle of the world. I liked them, so decreed that ... read more
Zodiac on a Beautiful Day
Ticket to Paradise
We Have Arrived

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos January 25th 2023

This is my last post for this trip. I've been home for 2 days. It was a long and tiring journey home. We left the Carina at 8 in the morning on Tuesday and got back home at 10 am on Wednesday...a dinghy ride to the pier, public bus to the airport, flight to Quayaquil, another one to Quito, 5 hours in a hotel by the airport with Alfredo and the group, back out to the airport at 9 in the evening, a 5 hour flight to Atlanta, a confusing transfer...which gate B17 or A12??, and then the last flight to Newark. It's exhausting to even type it all. I'm determined to finish this blog to cover the last few days of this trip...mostly for my own memory sake. I promised to say something about snorkeling ... read more
Coral
Boobies!
Just hanging out on the dinghy in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos January 24th 2023

I'm back on the grid after 5+ days in the Enchanted Islands without internet. I've been taking notes each day but so that this blog actually gets done I'll put them all together into one or two posts. It may be long but I promise lots of beautiful pictures! How to describe this experience...magical, fun, amazing views of volcanos and blue waters, delicious, mostly healthy food, friendly, helpful crew and very knowledgeable and passionate guide, and most of all the giant tortoises, sea lions, sea turtles, dolphins, iguanas, lizards, colorful fish, boobies and so many other birds. By charter bus, plane, local shuttle, and dinghy ride we traveled from Quito to the Galapagos and boarded the Carina, that was our home for the 7 days at sea. Juana was our leader and naturalist. I had a ... read more
This guy met us at the airport.
Out on the dinghy/panga
The Carina...our home for 7 days

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos December 11th 2022

(Day 164 on the road) Listo, I am back in continental Ecuador with a wealth of unforgettable memories after ten amazing days on Galapagos. Nestled in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands are a unique and breathtaking destination, home to an array of exotic wildlife and landscapes unlike anywhere else in the world. I had opted for a land-based trip (as opposed to taking a multiday-cruise), and I feel it was the right choice - I was constantly amazed by the natural beauty and diversity of the place. Of course, it was a lot cheaper that way, but I am also very bad with taking boats, pretty much getting very seasick all the time. I spent my days exploring the three islands of Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal – and the 2h boat-crossing from Isla ... read more
Stern looking blue-footed boobie
Galapagos sunset
Giant tortoise on the road

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos March 11th 2020

We flew from Guyaquil. The hostel manager sowed a seed of doubt by reporting that all flights to Galapagos had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Fortunately this was not the case and we flew the following morning. The holiday lifestyle took a sudden lurch to the luxurious. We shared a boat with 11 others for an 8 day cruise with our own guide. SOOOO swanky! The accommodation was as alien as the wildlife. It seemed weird not to be booking our next hostel, plotting our bus route or researching where the bus stopped. We were confronted at every turn with delicious food. Daily routine was snorkel from the zodiacs (pangas) and a walk twice a day.... oh, and a bit of kayaking. Returning from snorkelling we were met with hot towels and nice nibbles ... read more
Pelicans hoping for scraps at the fish market- there was a sealion under the counter but you can't quite see him!
Our favourite new swimming buddy
Frigate birds...The male at the bottom trying to impress the lady with his red inflation. ..




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