As promised the morning started early. The hotel had a box breakfast ready for us as we checked out…nice gesture, nuff said. The 15 of us met up with our “chaperone” and boarded a mini bus and headed off to the airport. Fun fact: If your flying to the Galapagos, you get your bags x rayed before you check in. They don’t want any foreign “dirt” on your hiking boots, or fresh fruit or seeds. BUT, you can carry 2-3 litres of water, an aerosol can of sunscreen and a 5 oz bottle of bug spray… who knew???
Once we had our bags duly inspected and sealed, we were off to check in and head to our gate. Fortunately, there was a restaurant right beside us, and a few of us had a real breakfast as we were told we would be heading out on a hike prior to getting to our hotel. Lots of stuff packed in our day packs, so hopefully the hike won’t be too long today!
We are flying Avianca via Quayaquil. The aircraft is far better appointed than the United flight that we took from Toronto and Houston…just goes to say that while those skies might be friendly, they nickel and dime you for everything, and their seats are made out of cardboard with a pitch of a charter carrier!
Enough talk about airlines! We finally landed in Isla San Cristobal, where we would spend the next couple of days. After we got our visitors visa, we met up with our guide for the week, Wilson.
This is the first Island that Darwin visited, and after an orientation with Wilson we headed into town for some lunch, and to get out gear fir snorkeling. On route, we passed many amazing things, such as sea lions guarding a front door!
After we were set we took a ride to the interpretive centre, and then walked along a boardwalk through and arid forest to the bay where the Beagle first landed. Armed with our snorkel, mask and wet suit, we headed out into Darwin Bay to see what we could see. We were amazed to be swimming with a great variety of colourful fish, an eagle ray, a few sea lions and a number of tortoises. Absolutely amazing!! This was our first taste of the wildlife we are about to see over the next week!
Once we left the bay, we went a different way through the forest and came across a lovely beach covered in sea lions…many with calves! So incredible to see these beautiful creatures up close!
Our day had been a long one. Our group decided to go out for a lovely evening meal of seafood…pretty amazing to think that everything is locally caught, and extremely fresh! After this, everyone made a hasty exit for their rooms, and some well deserved rest. Until tomorrow, my friends!