Galapagos Fantasticos

Trip Start Aug 31, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hotel San Vicente Galapagos Puerto Villamil
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dear all,

Hate to make you jealous but here is what we got up to this week past, visiting the famous Galapagos Islands, Darwin's playground:

We snorkeled in clear blue waters, following giant turtles around a lagoon, and avoiding one massive sleeping stingray.

We hiked up to the crater of Sierra Negra volcano, the second widest active volcanic crater in the world (again, I don’t know the first, Google is your friend); at between ten and eleven kilometers in diameter, it was quite breathtaking to behold. It last spewed its juices a mere seven years ago, and our guide took great delight in telling us that nobody then knew it was coming. On the way we encountered mud, cloud, burning sun, 'aggressive’ guava trees (not as exciting as you’d think - they were brought by the first colonists and have now almost wiped out the indigenous plant life in their quest for supremacy – much like many aspects of the now greatly endangered local wildlife), a great number of Darwin’s famous finches and one beautiful and greatly curious hawk.

We lazed on an idyllic beach, surrounded by more brave and nosey birds, and loads of beautiful marine iguanas. These iguanas were one of our favourite animals on the island, as they were all over the place, and were quite content just flopped on the sand, soaking up the sun, no matter how close we got, or how much we posed for photos with them. They were truly Jurassic, and we never got bored of encountering them in our paths.

We sunned, we swam, we ate good food. But the best thing about the Galapagos is the animals. We spent a small fortune visiting this place, and still were doing much of it on the cheap (eating instant pasta when meals weren’t provided; turning up without hotel bookings to get better prices; getting last minute tour deals and bartering the hell out of the locals), but it really was worth every penny.

My personal highlights were the sea lions. Seeing beautiful wild animals like this laying around in what are essentially public places, oblivious to the people stepping over and around them was really special. I even got to stroke one of them which made me feel like a kid (their fur is so soft and warm and velvety, I just couldn’t help myself). The only reaction was for it to sniff my hand and utter some small snuffling whimper, then put down its head again and go back to its slumber. They really seem to feel no stronger emotion towards people than the occasional mild annoyance at having to get out of the way.

The giant tortoises were also incredibly beautiful (In a really ugly and alien sort of way). The only shame about seeing these great lazy dinosaurs being that there are none in the wild anymore. They all have to be bred in captivity (though they don’t seem to be having problems there – their lethargic motion does not seem to go hand in hand with chastity – there was no shortage of babies at the sanctuaries we visited) since the introduction (by people) of such animals as dogs, cats, rats – and even ants – that destroy these ancient animals before they can even reach a year old (they apparently taste delicious and, at that age, have only very soft shells).

We saw many beautiful birds that we tried to remember (or at least make up) the names of; including pelicans, the famous blue-footed boobies, the aforementioned hawk, flamingos, penguins and many more that you can see here.

There’s not much else to say about this five-day excursion. We’ll let the photo’s do the rest of the talking. Until next time...
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Mindy on

Hey you two

This sounds and looks amazing. Loving the blogs, i only read all of them today while Rob was in the lounge keeping himself busy.... Love the pics. Miss you guys!!! Have fun and keep us up to date.

Ant on

The story makes me sooo jealous - the great pics REALLY make me wish I'd been there! Keep posting so we can keep enjoying with you. Luvvies, Dad.

Emily McKinley on

Amazing pictures especially the sleepy baby sea lion, I want one! Mr & Mrs Doolittle eat your heart out.

This weekend we were at Saltaire Festival eating home made donuts, candy floss (Dave had 2 bags!) Beef & Chirozo burgers and German Frankfurters nom! Oh and some real ale (Oat & Blonde ale) from a Holmfirth brewery nice! Bumped into Ed (bass player) as well, was good to catch up.

Take care keep safe lots of love The McKinley's x x x x

Karina & Peter on

Goodness me, what beautiful photos!
Glad your having such a wonderful time, your journey looks completely breathtaking.
Loving the turtle ones, I'd love to have been there to see them, very grand creatures.
Starting to get cold over here again, unlike yourselves basking in that fabulous sun - enjoy my dears, you've earned it - xx

Judy on

Hi!How beautiful the pictures are.I was afraid of them before,but I will love them from now on because of these cute pictures.Actually,I haven't seen them anywhere before,and the turtle is different from China.When I saw the white sand and the blue sea,I recalled Maldive.If I have a chance,I also want to go there,It's so amazing.

Vivian on

I am studying English, i hope my English can become better!!!

Vivian on

Hey,stevie and kerri,
Previous comment was wrong,I mistook.
What an amazing the trip is.Espencially the pictures are wonderful.Everything looks beautiful.But It also seems dangerous from picture,be careful and keep safe.
Hope you have a good time!!!

kezandstevie on

Hi Vivian

It's good to hear from you. We are having such a great time. Don't worry, it's not dangerous.

How are you? Are you still at Birmy? How is Inter?

Vivian on

I am happy to receive your reply. I will be Birmy until Novenber of next i have a long time.
Do you know I came back home for my wedding last month. The wedding was verry funny. Just the bride looked a little fat. ha-haaaa!
Now,I plan to look for a job that I can use English and Japanese.But I think my English is not good enough at the moment.Maybe it's no problem after I finished Inter.
At Birmy,we usually talk about your trip.Where are you now; you must be eating dilicious food or enjoying the beautiful views etc.We are all jealous of you.
That's all today.
Enjoy your trip!!!
P.S:Please point out if I had some mistakes above.Thanks.

Vivian on

You haven't updated the blog recently.How is going on?
And i have a doubt.Did you receive my previous comment on Oct 30? After i sent it, on the other day , I got a e-mail, it said i haven't sent this message successfully, so i would like to check with you .

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