Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
15Trip End Jun 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Flight arrived around midday and we were transported by coach, ferry, truck and dinghy to our boat. Had a late lunch and headed back to the main island, Santa Cruz, to see giant land tortoises.
We woke for breakfast at a new island, the boat having sailed overnight. There were big puffer fish around the boat and frigate birds circling and landing on the masts. We loaded into two dinghys and headed to a rocky out crop - a sea lion colony where we see cubs playing in the water around us and sunbathing on the rocks. We also saw sea birds called Blue-footed Boobies (cue inappropriate jokes) and Marine Iguanas. We're then taken to the oldest 'post-office' in South America where boats used to leave messages for one another. Now it's full of Tourists postcards in the hope that they'll be picked up and delivered by other tourists!
Back to the boat for lunch and as we set sail we realize that a sealion has jumped onto the steps of the boat and is sunning itself - not bothered that we're there at all!
At the next destination we take a walk and see flamingos in a lagoon, marine iguanas on the beach and visit one of the beaches where turtles lay their eggs.
After breakfast we're taken to a beach with loads of sealions, we can walk very close to them and swim with them in the shallow sea. We also see a huge Galapagos hawk.
After lunch we go to a submerged volcanic crater to snorkel, we see loads of fish and after a while spot a white-tipped reef shark about 5ft. It's just lying on the bottom but we soon spot a few more swimming beneath us, suddenly makes us realise how vulnerable we are but as with all the other animals in the Galapagos, the sharks just ignore us. We also get a glimpse of a turtle and spotted golden rays.
We visit a new island, fantastic looking scenery with cacti and red and green scrub. We get a better sight of both land and marine iguanas alongside lots of birds and the ubiquitous sealions.
In the afternoon we snorkel in a calm bay where the water is really clear. We see lots of fish including a massive shoal of thousands of fish. We then find a couple of sea turtles and are able to follow their graceful 'flight' across the bay. Feel really lucky to see them!
Our plane is set to leave at 10.30 so we head off early for a walk before breakfast. We see blue-footed boobies doing their mating 'dance' to show off their blue feet and also male frigate birds with their red necks inflated to attract females. I have to hold Kate back...
On arriving back in Quito we caught a bus straight down to Banos, which is a tiny town in the central sierra at the foot of a live volcano! Next installment coming soon...