Wildlife Galore!

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
Trip End Jun 16, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hostal Villamil

Flag of Ecuador  , Galápagos,
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wow! We have had a very exciting few days getting to and around the Galapagos Islands. We are enjoying the 14 other Intrepid tour 'mates' who come from England, Ireland, USA, New Zealand & Canada - all part of the wildlife.  Early on Sunday morning we made our way to the airport and had an uneventful flight to Isla San Cristobel.  Our first experience with the wildlife was a walk along the boardwalk of the sleepy town.  There were sea lions lounging around everywhere - on park benches, on the sidewalk, in the park - blissfully napping on the sunny Sunday afternoon. We also went on an exhilarating bike ride from up in the highlands all the way down to the beach where we swam and saw more sea lions.

Monday was mostly snorkelling. The water is darned cold.  Even with a wet suit on, we emerged from the water shivering and with blue fingers.  We saw a few giant sea turtles and some interesting fish but not the sharks we were 'hoping for' in the place they call shark alley.  Our guide instructed us to stay close together so as not to lose someone to a shark so we kicked and banged into each other, ensuring our safety and never saw a shark!  We moored at a deserted beach for a couple of hours and warmed up in the delicious sun.  Swimming was refreshing with the temperature reminding me of home and Queensland Beach in Nova Scotia in late August. That evening we ate an amazing barbeque meal with shrimp, pork, chicken and sausages - enough protein to last several days!

Tuesday we moved from San Cristobel to Isla Isabela with a long day of travelling by boat interspersed with snorkelling amongst the giant turtles and sea lions.  After lunch on the island of Floreana we saw our first penguin and many red iguanas. We saw the infamous blue-footed boobie...and a number of t-shirts that say variations of "I love boobies". A walk through the tortoise sanctuary provided us with endless encounters with these huge and glorious animals. The wildlife is abundant and fascinating in Galapagos!

Yesterday was a big hike - about 16 km - up to a caldera (not a crater) with lava rock, lava caves and magnificent 'moon-like' landscapes.  Our group is comprised of a range of ages and fitness levels so managing a group of 16 hikers is not easy.  Jim and I are at one end of the age range and can hold our own at the tail end as I plod along and Jim lags behind taking pics. We are enjoying this experience - being active, outdoors and amongst a great group of people.

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Jane on

Wow! Absolutely gorgeous. Love seeing the wildlife. Your writing is so vivid Donna. I feel as though I'm with you, which I would love to be! Photography is also really really good.

Megan on

Amazing photos!!! I'm so glad you are there and having a great time already! Thanks so much for the blog, so glad I can follow along! Keep having a ball.

Penny Logan on

Wow! What an adventure, and what great pictures! I am really enjoying this travel-by-proxy:-)

Ruth-Ann Clurman on

This is so great, Donna!!! Thanks for sharing. Really gives me a break in the day that is very welcome and educational!

Brenda Neale on

What fabulous pictures! I love reading of all your activities!

Sylvia on

Truly amazing! You are an amazing writer Donna. And Jim, such a great photographer! Perhaps you'll write a book when you get back?? I love that you're making your dreams come true together. You're a real inspiration!

Lorna on

So glad you are able to see and do all that should be done at such an awsome place. You have definitely confirmed to me that it would be a waste for me to try to do it all at my age and condition, but I"m still not too old to dream and your blog has helped make my dreams more vivid - thank you.

Kathi on

Goosebumps thinking you took all those beautiful photos, face to face with such horny creatures Jim! Stunning photos! I'm so glad I asked you to take my spirit with you...we're having a blast.....well, at least you look like you are. Can't wait til the next installment. Thanks heaps!

Margaret on


Joanne McKeough on

Hi Donna and Jim,

Absolutely amazing photos. The long hike to the lava fields was worth it, if only for the beautiful photo.
I hope you bought a "boobies" t-shirt.

Bye for now,
Joanne (Mary's sister)

Mary on

Ditto to all the comments about the beautiful pictures and the great writing. Also ditto to getting a "boobies" t-shirt. Throw away some of those high-tech tops, Donna, and go for those t-shirts!

Katharine on

Great story, great pics. You both look so happy. And I'm happy for you. Love that word, "Intrepid" love when I was called that during my travels.
Be well and happy.
Love you.

Rick on

Looks like the Galapa goes well. Great photos!

Basia on

Stunning photos, Jim, and delightful writing, Miss Donna.

And, I want one of those tee-shirts. Tee hee...


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