This was a bucket list trip for us. Celebrity has this trip working like a well oiled machine.Loved being on a ship with only 92 pa Once in Quitos everything, tours, hotel, transportation, food, drinks, Naturalist is all included. I did this trip because Jim is such an animal lover and was blown away with the animals and surroundings.
A trip to the Galápagos is an unforgettable experience. As Charles Darwin put it: “The Natural History of this archipelago is very remarkable: it seems to be a little world within itself”. The islands are world renowned for their fearless wildlife but no amount of hype can prepare the visitor for such a close encounter with nature. Here, you can snorkel with penguins and sea lions, watch 200-kg tortoises lumbering through giant cactus forest, and enjoy the courtship display of the blue-footed booby and frigate bird, all in startling close-up.
The Galapagos have never been connected with the continent. Gradually, over many hundreds of thousands of years, animals and plants from over the sea somehow migrated there and as time went by they adapted themselves to Galapagos conditions and came to differ more and more from their continental ancestors. Thus many of them are unique: a quarter of the species of shore fish, half of the plants and almost all the reptiles are found nowhere else. In many cases different forms have evolved on the different islands. Charles Darwin recognized this speciation within the archipelago when he visited the Galapagos on the Beagle
Lying on the Equator, 970 km west of the Ecuadorean coast, the Galapagos consist of six main islands: San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana, Santiago and Fernandina. There are also 12 smaller islands – Baltra, Santa Fe, Pinzon, Espanola, Rabida, Daphne, Seymour, Genovesa, Marchena, Pinta, Darwin and Wolf – as well as over 40 small islets. The Galapagos has been called the greatest wildlife show on earth but it is neither a theme park nor an ocean side resort. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is not cheap but is worth saving for and the high prices are one way of keeping the number of visitors within sustainable levels to ensure their survival as the world’s foremost wildlife sanctuary
We left for Chicago park sleep and fly at Hyatt Regency. On Friday left O hare 0815 for 1040 to Miami. Miami to Quito's. The stewardess before boarded wanted me to check my American Tourist-er suitcase. I felt I was being picked on because other suitcases were much bigger. I rearranged so suitcase was thinner and boarded. We arrived at Quitos a small airport and went through customs you needed checked luggage tags like you used to in all airports. Celebrity was waiting with a sign . We needed to wait 1/2 hour for others and then arrived at 5 star hotel Marriott. They offered us warm towel and juice while checking in. We qualified for executive lounge on 9th floor open 6-11.
We went to main restaurant and split Margarette Pizza. This would be one of the few things we needed to pay for everything else was payed for in our package. Tips, Drinks, and all tours.
Roses are beautiful, plentiful and cheep here
Down for buffet breakfast, pastries rolls, bagels, breads, fresh fruit, Ki Wi, Pineapple, mango and Jaxo a sweet sour fruit, omelets, cereal muslin cheeses, cold cuts Ecuadorian dishes. I drank COCO tea that was recommended for altitude sickness.
Favorite scarf seller
Change of guard
Sucre's theaturm We ate lunch at Sucre theaturm restaurant had good potato soup, serve-chi, plantain chips pork, chicken
Up for breakfast at 0630. Left st 0800 and took bus to Quito airport. Left at 0940 for a 2 hour flight to Baltra. They served us a breakfast on china that actually tasted good. We arrived at 1140.
We took first panga ride to Expidation our home for the next week. We had a lovely lunch in Darwin dining room. We took a 2 mile walk on North Seymour island.
Room We went to our room by attendant Silva there are only 92 passengers on ship. We had twin beds and I asked her if she could put them together and she said no problem. The workers do multiple duties. The panga drivers are servers in dining room and work on deck too.
Our first hike was a 2 mile hike lead by the ship naturalist.
North Seymour is an extraordinary place for breeding birds, and is home to one of the largest populations of nesting blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate birds. Pairs of blue-footed boobies can be seen conducting their mating ritual as they offer each other gifts, whistle and honk, stretch their necks towards the sky, spread their wings, and dance—showing off their bright blue feet. Magnificent frigatebirds perch in low bushes, near the boobies, while watching over their large chicks. The frigates are huge, dark aerobats with a 90-inch (2.3 m) wingspan. Male frigates can puff up their scarlet throat sacks to resemble giant red balloons. Boobies and frigates have an interesting relationship. Boobies are excellent hunters and fish in flocks. The frigates by comparison are pirates, they dive bomb the boobies to force them to drop their prey. Then, the aerobatic frigate swoops down and picks up the food before it hits the water.
Frigates This vulture of the sea boasts a wingspan as large as that of the albatross. Their large wings serve them well as they glide through the sky in search of food. Males will inflate a large red pouch under his throat to attract and seduce and attract the female.
Blue footed boobies enjoys a lifespan of 15-20 years. To attract a mate the blue footed boobies dances brings it tail up and spreads his wings and whistles towards the sky.
Sea lions gather in colonies on the sands and rocks. They feed primarily on sardines and can dive as deep as 100 meters
730 had captains welcome cocktail had blue booby drink We ate with Cindy and Mike from Texas and adal and daughter Stephanie from Boston and Germany. It was a busy first day and to bed at 1000.
Monday up at 530 and coffee on deck 615 to see Kicker Rock. We did circumference by panga at 0700
is the remains of a volcanic cone that has been eroded by the sea. Above the water, the monolithic rock formation towers over 500 feet above the Pacific Ocean and is home to a number of Tropicbirds, Blue-footed Boobies and Frigatebirds. But, the true appeal of this location occurs below the surface of the sea. The natural erosion of this ancient cone has created a channel between the rocks that provides the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays including Spotted Eagle Rays, White-tip Reef sharks, the ellusive Galapagos Shark and Hammerheads! Because there are no safe places to moor at Kicker Rock, a lunch stop and swim at Manglesito Beach on Islas Lobos is included, where you can snorkel with friendly Sea Lions or take a stroll on the beach. This tour can be centered around either snorkeling or SCUBA diving.
Got back and ate breakfast with Cindy and Mike from Texas and Alberta and Lex from Holland. The little Ecuadorian bananas are so sweet and Jim had huge sardines in tomato sauce.
We took the long fitness walk at Las Tigeretas fitness walk the first 200 steps were rocky and rest smooth on a new paved path. We had a 1/2 hour in town.
Isle Espanola the southernmost island in the archipelago features a central volcano and wildlife is rich here. At the westerly Punta Suarez landing point a l.25 mile trail leads past a beach fill ed with sunbathing sea lions and marine Iguanas. The trail follows a ridge and has beautiful views of beaches and cliffs below. At the end of the trail you will find an impressive blowhole where seawater plumes up to 60 feet from the basaltic rocks.
This walk was unbelievable, coastal view, blow hole saw Albatross and babies. Mocking bird, blue foot boobies, sea lions red Iguanas and lots of crabs.
Waved Albatross is the largest bird in Galapagos islands with a wings pad of 2.5 meters. The waved albatross spends life at sea, only coming to shore to mate, Espanola island is the only place in the world it reproduces. The birds mate for life and can live for 60 years.
These are my three amigos
Had cold beer when we got back on deck. Tonight was pina colada cocktail party, Ate supper with Gary and Barbara from Colorado.
Tuesday October 18th
Floreane Island one of the four islands that Charles Darwin Visited during the time here
We had to go back to ship to get wet suits for advanced champion snorkel they provide all equipment and fit you and give you a bag to keep the whole trip. They wash it and hang it up for your next snorkel. This was a snorkel for experienced snorkelers and the water can be rough. Kind of a drift snorkel. Jim did fine and the most exciting thing was when a sea lion was swimming with us.
Wed October 19th
Left at 0830 for easy beach walk saw pink flamingos they are pink from eating shrimp, We did a snorkel. Back to ship for a massage by LuLu. The best massage I have ever had. She had magic fingers.