Galapagos – Part 2

Here are the highlights of the rest of our Galapagos trip:

March 9 (Friday) – ‘The Twins’ & San Cristobal
-Up at 6:30, breakfast at 7:00
-8:00 – explored San Cristobal; saw many iguanas, crabs, birds (yellow canaries) and some sea lions
-10:30 – snorkelled through the “twins” islands. These two islands are made of ash and used to be one island, but were eroded by water to form two. This adventure was the most amazing snorkelling. We saw a turtle, red/purple/blue/orange coral on the sides of the islands, many fish, and what we think was a hammerhead shark!
-LUNCH – sushi
-After lunch we got our hiking shoes on again and climbed (sometimes we needed our hands) to the beautiful views at (almost) the top the island. It was very hot that afternoon, but it was a wonderful hike of beautiful landscapes. We also saw red footed boobies for the first time!
-Dinner and playing cards with Ruth and Robbie from Edmonton.

Here are some highlights of the day:

Canary grabbing some breakfast

Sea lion

One of the many beautiful beaches

Happy hikers at San Cristobal

Red-footed boobie

Incredible landscape

March 10 (Saturday) – Santa Fe and South Plaza
-Up at 6:30 and breakfast at 7:00
-8:00- hiked around Sante Fe
-10:00- back on the boat and just relaxed for the rest of the morning, chatting with other passengers on the boat.
-Lunch – garlic pasta, shrimp, coleslaw, cauliflower frittata, beet-like dish, and chocolate moose for dessert.
-Nap time
-Hike on South Plaza – really interesting terrain – red and orange shrubs and lots of cacti – (and iguanas and sea lions of course!)
-Back to boat and travelled to next destination, Baltra channel
-Snorkeled at Baltra channel
-Dinner at 7pm- beef with pickles and olives – stewed- delicious!

Here are some highlights of the day…

Posing for a class photo?

View from Sante Fe

Fausto and the iguana on South Plaza

Group overlooking the water on South Plaza Island

The Samba just off the shore of South Plaza

Us on South Plaza

South Plaza

Sea lion

March 11 (Sunday) – James Island and Bartholeme Island
-Up at 6:30, breakfast at 7:00
-8:00- hike around James Island- walked on the 400 year old lava – really interesting photos- including the “spa” area which apparently is good for your back.
-10:15- snorkeling around James Island – we saw a shark and penguin! And other fish of course! It was really shallow where we were.
-LUNCH
-2:00 – Snorkeling again – around Bartholeme. I didn’t go but Mike did. He saw new fish and a penguin shooting through the water! I listened to music and sat around the front deck.
-4:00 – Hiked up the boardwalk on Bartholeme. Amazing. One of the best spots for sure. Took lots of photos and on the way back we saw penguins and took a video of them!
-7:00- Dinner

Some highlights of the day…

James Island Lava Field

Lying on the Lava Field 'Spa'

Mike on the Lava Field - James Island

Lava shapes

Mike on Bartolome Island

Crazy cactus on Bartholome Island

Volcanic rock on Bartholome Island

 

Famous Bartholome View

Us at Bartholome Island

March 12 (Monday) – James Bay and Rabida Island
-Up at 6:30, breakfast at 7:00
-8:00- hike around James Bay. Saw fur seals, blue footed boobies, a molting crab
-10:45- snorkeling around James Island – we saw 7 white tipped sharks, a turtle and a few new fish
-LUNCH
-2:00 – Hiked on Rabida Island. Red / purple beach sand. Saw a couple hawks. Sweltering heat.
-4:00 – Snorkeling again – saw fur seals, and many fish. Very calm clear and bright.
-7:00 – Cocktails, thank you to the crew. Dinner, settling tabs, dirty jokes and packing.

Some highlights of the day…

James Island

Sea crab

Walking sea shell...aka hermit crab

James Island

Galapagos Falcon..or is it an owl? - on Rabida Island

Rabida Island

Driving the Samba - with "Capitan Jose"

March 13 (Tuesday) – Seymour Island
-Up early at 5:30 and left the boat by 6:00 for a tour of the island. Saw many birds with big red neck sacks (Frigate birds). Saw the sunrise.
-Back to the boat around 7:15, then breakfast, packing and leaving the boat to the airport!
-Shopped and waited, then back in Quito at 2:30ish (Quito time).

A few highlights of the day…

Seymour Island

Blue-footed boobie - dancing around to try to impress a potential mate

Frigate birds - puff out their red sacks to attract the females

Seymour Island

Little sea lion hanging out on the rocks

Flight back to Quito

It was a wonderful trip! Our guide, Fausto Rodriguez, was an extremely knowledgeable guide and very professional – and a lot of fun too! Our crew on the Samba boat was amazing. They were all very organized and professional too, which made our trip exceptional. We would highly recommend Galapagos- a unique paradise!

 

Galapagos Islands

It is true what other’s say, the Galapagos Islands are amazing. When you get off the plane, the fresh, hot and humid air hits you instantly. The seal lions, iguanas and blue-footed boobies are plentiful and found on many islands. I couldn’t believe how close we were to the animals and how indifferent they were to us. It was truly an experience like no other.  We spent an exquisite eight days in Galapagos from March 6-13, sailing/cruising on the Samba boat with our very knowledgeable, professional and outgoing guide, Fausto Rodriguez. This was also the place where we ate some of the best food of our trip. A big kudos to the SAMBA chef! We snorkelled and hiked every day, met a fantastic group of people (14 of us visitors in total), and visited ten different islands. Since eight days is a lot to cover in one blog, I’m going to break it down by day, giving you the brief itinerary, then a few pics of the day. Alright, here it goes…day one….

March 6 (Tuesday) – Galapagos- Santa Cruz Island
-Flew in from Quito and arrived around 11:30 a.m.
-Had a small tour of the “twins”- they are volcanic sink holes
-Went to a farm, had lunch and saw tortoises and birds living in the wild
-Walked around Charles Darwin Research Centre and the town of Santa Cruz
-Dinner on the boat at 7pm, a delicious fish meal.

Pictures of the day…

Wild tortoise munching on the vegetation

Turtles at Charles Darwin Centre

Colourful iguana at Charles Darwin Centre

Lonesome George - hiding on us at Charles Darwin Centre

Crazy cactus

March 7 (Wednesday) – Floreana Island
-Up at 6:30, breakfast at 7am
-8:45- Snorkeling – saw thousands of fish and many sea lions
-10:45 – Visit to Punta Cormorant – walked along a gorgeous beach with the softest sand! Saw sting-rays, crabs and iguanas.
-12:00 – Lunch
-NAP
-3:00 p.m.- Visit to ‘Post Office’ and around islands with sea lions. We also saw boobies, iguanas, crabs, birds (red neck).
-The ‘Post Office’ is a place on the island where people write a post card to themselves or someone they know, then they stick it in a box. While you’re there, you have to find a postcard from someone from your city and hand-deliver it to them. What an interesting idea! Believe it or not, we actually found a post card from someone from Winnipeg so we will hand deliver it to them when we get back. Looking forward to seeing their reaction!
We addressed post cards as well, so maybe one day we’ll receive one back!
-Dinner at 7pm – Chicken, avocado and peas, beets, coleslaw, yuca

Pics of the day…

Our Samba boat

Mike on the beach during the hike

Do you see the sting-ray?

Sea crab

Post office box

Mike looking for sea creatures

View from the boat

Samba crew

March 8 (Thursday) – Punta Suares & Espanola Island
-Up at 6:00, breakfast at 6:30
-7:00 – Hiked around Punta Suares for a few hours –one sea lion didn’t want us to pass!
-Saw many sea lions, birds, iguanas and and nice spot where there was a water blow hole.
-Took at dip in the water next to the boat when we got back, then took a nap
-12:00 – Lunch
-Relaxed until snorkeling at 3pm – went to two differnt spots
-Very rocky today and windy.
-Went to ‘sea lion beach’ on Espanola – wow- so many of them! Took a nice swim.
-Spaghetti for dinner
-Card game with Ruth and Robbie – 10 diamonds
-Nice sleep because the water was calm.

Pics of the day…

Sexy iguana

Blue-footed boobie

Shawna and a sea lion

Crashing waves

Friends

Sea lion

Sea lion cuddle time

"One of these things is not like the other ones..."

Beautiful beach

The next five days are coming up…stay tuned…