Blogs from Galápagos, Ecuador, South America - page 6

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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!

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos April 10th 2016

Just back from a week spent on the Galapagos Islands and I can honestly say it's been one of the best weeks of my life! For marine wildlife viewing, it can't be beaten in terms of the uniqueness and abundance of species. We spent time camping on 3 different islands, below are some of the highlights from our experience. Floreana Island Day 1 - narrowly avoid sea sickness en route to Floreana Island, spot our first wildlife (birds, crabs and sea lions), swim in the sea with sharks, watch sunset from the beach, go for dinner with our group, look at the stars! A great first day :) Day 2 - visit the highlands and giant tortoise breeding centre, amazing creatures, so huge, it's mating season, incredible to witness - David Attenborough eat your heart out! ... read more
Sea lion
Reef shark
Snorkeling

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 26th 2016

Today we went out on the boat again, this time to Santa Fe Island. It took us about an hour and a half to motor over to the island. I know I found it very hard to stay awake as the Altamar rolled gently from side to side as she motored along into a head wind. I don't think that I was the only one who had a little snooze on the way either! On our way were were treated to sightings of some turtles and a couple of sea lions. When we arrived at the island our boat was able to pull into the sheltered bay very close to the sea lion colony. We were ferried ashore again in the inflatable dinghy right onto the beach covered with lounging sea lions. Felipe pointed out the ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 25th 2016

Today we were given the option of walking 2.5km to a surf beach or 3km to a sheltered beach OR walking to the Charles Darwin Research Centre at the end of the main street. Everyone had actually decided last night that the swimming option sounded lovely BUT a very hot and very humid 3km walk back into town for lunch did not. Gina was able to tell Daniela of the groups' decision last night so she arrived this morning ready to escort us to the research centre rather than take us swimming. Thank goodness we decided to forego the swimming, even the short walk to the outskirts of town was very, very hot, and quite enervating, but we managed it with a few stops in the shade of trees along the way. At the research centre ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora February 24th 2016

The Galapagos Islands, Darwin and evolution are closely connected in most people’s minds. The truth, however, is far more mundane. The breeding of dogs by English dog-breeders and pigeons were what inspired Darwin. The Galapagos and its wildlife on the other hand hardly features in his book, ‘The Origin of Species’. In fact when Darwin came to the Galapagos he was far more interested in its geology than its wildlife. Though presumably he became more interested in its wildlife once he was there. You can hardly not become more interested in its wildlife. He seems to have ridden on the back of one of the giant tortoises, so clearly he had a bit of fun while on the islands. Evolution also had very little to do with me coming to the Galapagos, and neither did geology. ... read more
Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Guayaquil

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos February 24th 2016

We had an early start this morning for our excursion to North Seymour Island. Felipe was our National Park Service guide today. He arrived at 7.00am with a bus and driver to take us back to the other side of Santa Cruz Island to board the boat that would be taking us to North Seymour. On the way Felipe told us that North Seymour Island is located just to the north of Baltra Island and that Baltra Island was actually called South Seymour Island until WWII. It was nicknamed Baltra during the war to confuse the Japanese if they intercepted communications. Since then it has continued to be called Baltra. At the Itabaca Canal we had to don very elegant red life preservers to be ferried across to the motor launch in an inflatable boat with ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos February 23rd 2016

After an even more extensive breakfast buffet this morning it was time to head back to Guayaquil (pronounced why - a - kwill) airport for our flight to the Galápagos Islands. One of the main advantages of travelling in a group is having tour guides to facilitate your way through airports! Gina headed off to a counter to pay the $20 National Parks fee for each of us while Daniel facilitated our passage through the X-ray screening point. If we had been on our own we would have had to queue for each one separately. After a bit more sitting around at an airport departure gate it was time to board another aeroplane, this time for a two hour flight to Batra Island in the Galápagos Archipelago. After landing it was more queueing. First we queued ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island January 2nd 2016

We made the decision a couple of months back to go to the Galápagos for Christmas, having been undecided for a while due to the cost. The more we read about the islands, the more obvious it became that we had to go as we may never get the opportunity again. On our second day there, we were certain we had made the right choice!! It is a place unlike anywhere else we have been. Still very much Ecuadorian in that it's a bit scruffy round the edges, you can find incredibly beautiful scenery on these islands. However, that's not the most memorable thing... Neither Tom nor I are massive wildlife buffs, but I challenge anyone to see a giant tortoise in the wild and not turn into a big kid!! The vast majority of tourists ... read more
Crab spotting at Puerto Villamil
Chillin'
Blue footed boobies!

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora December 26th 2015

We hope you're all having a fantastic Christmas! We have to be honest and say that we have missed our families a lot... but if you're going to be away from home for the festive season, this is the place to be! The Galápagos Islands are simply spectacular, and the wildlife that we've seen here has blown our minds. We spent yesterday at Tortuga Bay - one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, and then had some amazing Galápagos seafood for our Christmas dinner! Today has been a very lazy Boxing Day spent wandering around posh tat shops in Puerto Ayora and planning the next leg of our trip, to Chile and Argentina. We'll write a (far too detailed) blog about The Galápagos in the next few days, but for now, Merry Christmas everyone! ... read more
Spot the crabs

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island December 25th 2015

My excitement as we flew into Santa Cruz Airport on the Galapagos Islands meant that I could barely stay in my seat. Visiting Galapagos was the culmination of childhood dreams fed by naturalists including David Attenborough. My mind was racing through hopes and wishes. Would I see the Giant Tortoises? The Blue Footed Boobies? What would I make of the landscape? I hoped against hope that I would not be disappointed. The flight landed then it was a bus ride, a ferry and another bus and we arrived in Puerto Ayora where within moments of arrival we saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans (completely different to home pelicans) diving beak first into a bay where sea lions played. I was speechless. We wandered from tour agency to tour agency in search of the best ... read more
Handsome Pelican
Highland View swing
Highland View Camping




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