Follow by Email

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Galapagos Island (Tropical Paradise)

Flying out to an island in the middle of the ocean has kind of eerie feel to it. It was great knowing I was headed to a dream land full of boobies. It was even better when land was spotted and descending into this tropical paradise. When you fly into the Galapagos you have 2 options. You can fly into Baltra or San Cristobal. I flew into Baltra and took the connecting bus to the ferry to the island of Santa Cruz. From there you take another bus for about 45 minutes to Puerto Ayora. Immediately after getting off the bus I took off looking for a travel agent to set up a cruise. Found one and haggled on the price like is customary to do in all of South America. Got it down to an acceptable price and booked it. Later that same night I booked into Darwin Hostel and got myself situated because I was leaving the next day for the Island of Isabella for 2 nights there. Met up with my buddy Nick Gauen who I had met in Cali, Colombia a few days before. I tried to convince him to come on this tour with me and was unsuccessful in my attempts. His loss, yeah buddy just called you out! I was having doubts about the tour because I had booked a 4 day cruise starting in Santa Cruz going to Floreana, Espanola and San Cristobal. I came to find out the first day of the cruise does not start until 2pm and on the last day ends around 10am. I was disappointed to find this out but convinced myself to have a great time anyways because it was going to be epic, which it certainly was. The next day took off to Isabella on a speed boat with a group of 16 and got to the island and it was pissing down on us. I was soaked and it was amazing! Regardless it was still paradise. It cleared up around an hour later and we were taken to a lagoon  to check out some flamingos and then to the beach to watch the sunset. What an amazing day! That night met for dinner with my new friends who came on the rest of the tour with me: Rona, Noa, Shir & Yarden. The next day we got into our limo which was a truck with a row of benches instead of a bed and headed up to the base of the volcano which we were going to hike up. We hiked up the volcano to the rim of the massive crater which was 10 kilometers wide at it's widest point. Unfortunately it was not clear when we got up to the top but you could see how massive it was. Headed down the volcano and then got ready to go snorkeling. We headed out towards some small islands where I was able to see tropical penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions, and so many more animals. The snorkeling was amazing but the walk around Isla Tinturos legen......wait for it......... dary!!!!!!!!! The Marine iguanas look like Godzilla. The next morning took one of the roughest boat rides back to Santa Cruz. At first it was pretty funny watching Yarden and Noa get bounced all over the boat  and then it was just the most ridiculous 2 hour boat ride of my life. Made it back to Santa Cruz and got set up for the next 2 days of relaxing and hanging out with lonesome George and hangin out on the beach. Met up with the group of people that we were going on the cruise with and headed up into the highlands to see some giant land tortoises and then onto the Aida Maria which was the name of the boat that I would spend the next 3 nights on. We took off that night to head onto the Island of Floreana where we would arrive the next morning. This was the first time I had slept on a boat overnight since the Navy and had some crazy Submarine flashback dreams. We got into Floreana and hiked up to the lookout point which was an amazing view of the whole island. We then dove down into a lava tube for a quick swim in the ice cold water which was amazing. Then headed to Post Office Bay which is a barrel that has been replaced many times since it was first put up by whalers in the late 18th century. It was used as a post office for mariners you would put in your post and deliver what was in the barrel if you were going to where it was addressed. I put in a few post cards for back home and hopefully the ones that I sent back to the states through my sister made it to their correct places. After that went snorkeling off the beach which was incredible then back to the boat and onto the island of Isabella the next day for even more animals and snorkeling. After seeing albatrosses, blue footed boobies, nasca boobies, marine iguanas, sea lions, frigate birds, sharks, and a  ton of different fish it didn't prepare me for how close you could get to these animals. Absolutely amazing!! After the cruise ended on the island of San Cristobal (where the sea lions had completely taken over the island) spent a few more days there before flying back to mainland Ecuador. What an amazing experience and met some amazing people. Check out these pictures and hopefully you can make it there some day....

Galapagos - Santa Cruz
Isabella - Galapagos
Cruise on the Aida Maria
San Cristobal, Galapagos

No comments:

Post a Comment