Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Trip Start Feb 13, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, June 10, 2007

Well firstly I have to say the Galapagos is absolutely amazing.  An absolute fortune but worth it.  But there is far to much to say so I am going to do a very brief and edited version!  Photos will have to follow as these computers are really slow and really expensive.
Having caught my very early flight in the morning I arrived at Santa Cruz in the Galapagos!  Caught the shuttle bus into town and after finding somewhere reasonably cheap to stay went into town.  Immediately bumped straight into Colin and John who we first met in Cusco.  After going fo a drink with them we then spent the entire aftyernoon going round a 100 agency to try and book a tour.
Eventually had to settle for the cheapest we could find.  Still a fortune!  But John and Colin, and also a Danich guy I met called Andy all booked onto the same one.
The next day we went of to the Darwin Research centr where they are trying to bread the giant tortoises.  They are so cool, and you can get right up to them.  They are also absolutely ginormaous.  One was easily twice the size of me!  And we also met Lonesome George.  For anyone that has not heard of him, he is the last of his kind.  And although they have tried to cross breed him they have had no success.
In the afternoon went for a sim in a little laguna surrounded by mangroves.
I havent mentioned yet though, that just wondering around town you see so much wild life.  Massive Pelicans sat on poles, marine iguanas wondering around the place, and sealions just hanging out at the harbour!  Its so cool.
On the Sunday I went of to a place called Tortuga Bay.  Its so beautiful!  I have never felt sand such fine white sand in my life!  It literally feels like flour.  And if you walk to the other end of the beach, the main bit is surf area, there is the most still tranquil bay, with perfectly clear water.  On my to the small bay I made friends with a sealion going for a plod.
Next day I went with Colin and John to a place called Las Grietas.  On the way we stopped at a small bay and saw a few small mantarays.  And also a massive sealion having a sllep.  Who scared the life out of me.  I went up to get a photo of me near it, and even though I knew he was going to do it, it grunted at me and I fell over!  When I get round to putting on photos you will see the look of terror on my face.
We then got to las Grietas.  It is a pool of pure clear water in a gorge between 2 cliffs.  Gorgeous but freezing.
On the Tuesday we set of on out tour.  For the first day it was the 4 of us and an Aussie girl called Rowena.  In the morning we went of snorkelling on a small island just a bit out of the harbour.  The water is sooo cold! You expect it to be warm on the equator but its in the middle of the pacific so its freezing.  As soon as we jumped in we are surrounded by sealions, swimming about and literally playing with us.  They come right up to your face.  And then we managed to see a turtle!  Everyone statrs yelling Tortuga!  Which can be very confusing because in spanish tortuga means turtle and tortoise.  They are the same word!  But that was a lot of fun.  On the way back for lunch we stopped of in a little inlet and saw a small shark, some blue footed boobies, a masive ray swimming with a small one, and of course some Sally Lightfooted crabs!  They are everywhere, but they look really cool because they are bright blue and red.
We had lunch and then went out to a place called Las Pintas which is much further out.  Again the most playful sealions.  But this time we managed to see 4 turtles all swimming around together, and managed to dive down and get really close to one.
So having had a brilliant day we headed back towards the harbour.  Only to have it get even better.  Suddenly we have a whole family of 5 pilot whales swimming with the boat!  Was unbelievable!  They were literally close enough to touch.  Even the captain and our guide were taking photos, apparently it doesnt happen very often!
So the first day was absolutley amazing.
The next morning we were joined by a really cool aussie family with 2 girls, Sarah and Morgan, and the parents Jenny and Peter.  We went up to the north of the island and saw some more birds and stuff.  Then we picked up the rest of the group, another 7 people.  After a bit more snorkelling we went over to Isabella island.  We went for a walk on an area with loads of marine Iguanas, and also a small inlet where there were about 12 white tipped sharks simmimg around a sleeping.
The next day we were off into the highlands to see the lava fields.  Everyone else went on horse.  Being allergic I had to walk! It was sooo tiring, and had to keep up with the horses.  2 hours uphill in the heat of the equator!  By the time we got there I didnt much care about the lava fielads!  Although they were pretty stunning.  Then had to walk back! Was so tired by the time we got back to the room I just collapsed for a few hours.
The next day we set of to Florianna Island, with more snorkelling along the way.  We went into the highlands and saw some more tortoises, and also some pirate caves.  We then went to a nice little bay and saw some more sealions lazing about on the beach.  And after that we went back to the black sand beach by our hotel and watched the sunset. The sand is black because its all volcanic.
The next day was a very long day on the boat, quite a few people sick.  We went to Espanola island and saw some Albatros.  Then to a place called Devils crown.  So many colourful tropical fish and a turtle.  Everyone was following until a shark swam over the top of it!  
And then we had the most playful sealions yet.  They are so cool.  Cant describe how weird it is to just have them darting about you, and when you dive down they come and swim around atuff.
After this we set of to San Cristobal Island and on the way we became surrounded by about 25 dolphins! Was amazing, we all jumped straight in and swam with them, you can here their sonar and stuff.  We stopped a lovely beach for a bit and then to the hotel.
That evening we went out as actually had a lie in, til 8 am!  Went to a bar called Iguana rock and became a pool shark with our deck hand, won a couple of beers!
The next day was the last day, and my last in South America.  We went up to a lake in the crater of a Volcano and then to an absolutely stunning little beach for lunch.  Spent the afternoon relaxing before a final farewell dinner.
The Galapagos is absolutely awesome and would tell anyone that had the chance to go, even though it has completely cleaned me out of money!
The next day I headed of up to Honduras to the Bay Islands.
Keep checking for updates on this post because I will add photos as soon as I can.
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racie23 on

Do you recall what tour you did on the galapagos? I am planing a similar trip and am traveling alone so would like to have a little foresight about what I am getting into. Thanks.

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