28.04.2008 - 05.05.2008 28 °C
I purposely didn't do a lot of research on the Galapagos ... prepared to let everything be pretty new to me. I remember as a child see many nature programmes on the islands, I can't remember all the details but I thought that would be a cool place to visit. For over 20 years that idea slipped out of my mind and animal life and nature wasn't that intriguing to me ... but this was the opportunity to get rekindle the flame.
I'm on the Estrella del Mar 2 a 16 berth ship ... (two per cabin) the trip goes for 8 days 7 nights and as there are two islands with major airports it seems that there can be two shifts of passengers ... I was one of seven newbies arriving on San Cristobel there were eight passengers who had been on board for 4 days ... it appears that there experience hadn't been as great as may have been expected. No introduction to the crew, little explanation of the itinerary and a guide who was always in a hurry. A new guide came on with us and things changed for the better immediately according to those that had been on board for four days prior to our arrival.
My Cabin-mate turns out to have been on the ship for four days Tjibbe from Holland .. top guy ..
So what proceeds is some walking, lots of snorkelling, a bit of laying on the beach plenty of wildlife - I guess the only things that weren't what the guide hyped them up to be were the breeding / research centres for Tortoises .. we saw two and I much preferred to see them in their natural habitat. We got to do that one day on a private farm (read forest) tracking them down then perving on them making little tortoises was great. The natural environment made it so much better.
Seeing all the others close up and being able to do things like snorkel & swim with sealions was a highlight.
So after four days we lose 10 passengers and gain 10 ..the way it works out I have a cabin to myself for the remainder of the trip. My constant companions the whole trip were and Israeli couple and to Evelyn's one the party girl from Ireland and one a museum administrator from Scotland. The Famous Five had a great time. The bar got a fair whack from a couple of us too ... but not so bad that we couldn't get to the 6 or 7 AM starts
Last night is a night on the town sort of .. not a lot happening in San Cristobel on a Sunday night but our United Nations of an Ecaudorian Guide, two NY female doctors to be, an israeli couple an Irish Rose (with the oblihatory potty mouth) and yours truly .. funny thing is that about 11.30 PM the TV in the bar switches from music videos to Catholic TV !!! ans the imposing figure of Sister Angelica glowers at us for some time