Portward Out, Starboard Home!
Trip Start Mar 07, 2007
75Trip End Oct 04, 2007
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We´re just back from our islands cruise - WOWOWOW.
Not sure if I mentioned before we left what a posh cruise we´d booked onto, we were in the most budget cabins and it still broke our bank, we have got some serious budgeting to do to make it around the world still! It was so worth it, jacuzzi for when you were a bit cold after a snorkel, cabins serviced 3 times a day for when you couldn´t be bothered picking stuff up, the food was AMAZING, the staff were AMAZING, I think I would really like to be really rich. Man were some people loaded, texas oil tycoon with glamour wife, lots of conversations including ´the maid´´the boat´ etc. Luckily we scored 2 honeymooning couples and a third couple under 40, so there were a lot more youngsters than usual (said the crew, yes that´s 8 people under 40 on a 40 person cruise), and some Aussies - YAY!
Anyway, back to reality today and it hurts - the staff at the hotel weren´t very nice, the airconditioning didn´t work, the food has been substandard and we don´t have a jacuzzi anymore =( I´m sure the memory of being treated like that will fade as we ease back into plebby backpacker living!
So the cruise was 8 days, not a luxury cruise they pointed out on the first night, but an adventure cruise... but with the large over 60 contingent the adventure was pretty tame with lots of rest breaks and a doctor close at hand for all uphill ádventüres´! I was sure we´d have at least one heart attack, and we were close a couple of times, one man did cut his finger and 4 men dressed in orange emergency suits brought a stretcher for the poor chap who looked terribly embarassed!
The islands were great, and the days packed, up at 0645 every morning, snorkeling, swimming, walks with the animals, walks up volcanoes and along the beach. The animals were amazing, so many of everything and so tame that even our camera got good pictures!!! (Man there were some good cameras out there, we parked up next to one group who´s tripoded camera´s were up to a metre long! As if you need that when the bird is 1 metre away, we just walked up to the birds and took a picture haha)
Sealions were my firm favourite, pups everywhere, they are so curious and come up to you on the beach and play with you when you´re snorkeling, and look like they are having more fun than anyone!! There were more turtles than I´d ever seen in one spot, you couldn´t swim without seeing them. Rays and sharks were abundant also, and we saw the elusive and little known Sun (Moon) fish, which Simon got a great view of while snorkeling
The highlight was the birdwatching, with all birds getting it on at every opportunity, the mating dances of the Boobies and Albatros´were memorable and we have great films.
Some other higlights were snorkeling and seeing birds dive-bombing from great heights and catching fish underwater, the massive giant tortoises and their babies at the Darwin breeding centre, seeing a Manta Ray jump out of the water - crazy huge things they are, and seeing them doing a whirlpool dance which was apparently a mating ritual.
The weather was great, ideal for hours on the sun deck.
The water was warm in some places, but there were some arctic places I tell you, and we were in the warm water time of year, brrrr.
This trip is definitely worth it (Alan) it really is a great demonstration of evolution in action, you really can see how the animals migrate and then adapt to the environment. And also a great demonstration of how tame animals are when they haven´t had to deal with humans being mean to them for ever. And also to see how humans and tourism are impacting the area now, which I didn´t really think was too bad from the tourism perspective, but being in the town you can see heaps of impact - people have pet cats - ahhhhhh, how could they?!
But that´s life I suppose, we will ruin things won´t we?
Must run and get some pictures on here for you, very pretty place, get here if you can.
Love Jill and Simon xxx