Our week in the Galapagos islands was so far out of the ordinary that it’s hard to describe all of the scenery and wildlife and was by far the highlight of the trip so far. Simon has always wanted to explore South America so already had a trip itinerary in his mind, my only demand was the addition of the Galapagos after the classic Attenborough inspired awe. Working in US dollars makes it an incredibly expensive place to visit but our research suggested that if you wait until the last minute you can get up to 50% off tours- which is how we found ourselves on a 5 star luxury cruise! Dads predictions about such a cruise were correct- we were joined by around 4 couples celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, plus a few single parents and their teenage children. We found the 70 year olds excellent company, a young doctor however, not so much as she strived to became the unofficial tour guide.
Arriving in Santa Cruz we were excited to see sealions, iguanas and hundreds of birds just on our way from the airport. With a bus rid, boat ride and taxi drive it’s no ordinary airport commute. I’d read before going that the islands are beautiful for their wildlife rather than landscape- while their no Pacific Island I’d have to say the landscape is pretty fascinating though. Some islands look like the outback crossed with the wild west, then sudden changes into tropical plants, others covered in new lava or red sand and one very aptly named Chinman’s hat. Over the 6 days we saw boogie birds that aren’t afraid of you in the least (with one even landing on my head!), 100s of iguanas, frigate birds with huge red balloons for a attracting mates, playful sealions, white tip/ Galapagos and hammerhead sharks, tonnes of turtles and giant tortoises, eagle rays,stingrays and manta rays. The highlight would have been the dive at kicker rock on our last day. While on the first dice we saw turtles and Galapagos sharks our next dive was unforgettable. Perched 20 meters down on a rock we watched as a sealions played with a manta ray as a family of turtles swam by followed by a huge pack of hammerhead sharks! we couldn’t take the camera down but here’s some diving pictures from Kicker Rock to paint the picture:
The Hotchkiss men also have a special Bobbie bird related treat coming their way.
Now I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
We also had a couples of days in Guayaquil in between: