What It Takes To Get To The Galapagos: An Experience Map
DISCLAIMER: Due to the nature of this trip, meaning very little accessibility to WIFI, I was just able to upload this. However, please read regardless for some laughs and insight into our experience in the Galapagos
4 buses, 4 boats and 1 plane, and we’ve finally made it to Isabela Island in the Galapagos. With so many legs of the trip, I took it upon myself to record in detail the length and chronology of what really went into traveling to the Galápagos (See my experience map visual below for a quick overlook). We started this long journey of ours at 6am as we loaded the bus with our luggage. At 6:15 we were off as our beloved bus driver Marcelo drove us to the Quito airport. At this time I’d also like to note that this is probably one of the few times on this trip that we were able to get 21 people somewhere on time and on schedule. Anyways, once we arrived at the airport we saw the lovely sight of Cayambe peaking through the clouds as the sun shined bright on the face of the mountain. After that beautiful visual, we proceeded through security and all those fun security airport drills we all know and love. The day then progressed as we boarded our plane that took us first to Guayaquil and then finally to the island of Baltra in the Galápagos. We thought it’d just be as easy as that plane ride but we were wrong. This was only the beginning of our travels to discover the Galapagos.
After we landed and grabbed our baggage, we headed to a tram bus that drove us to the dock of Baltra where we got in a taxi boat that took us across this canal to Santa Cruz Island. We were joined by a boat load (pun intended) of European tourists. The german I heard was almost jarring in respect to all the Spanish I’ve been hearing. From there, we loaded a bus where we met a national park guide and our trip guide, Jose, for the week. We drove through the different microclimates of Santa Cruz before taking a break to each lunch. The Galapagos is unique in that the foliage quickly changed from dry trees to luscious green forests in less than 20 minutes. While observing this change in climate, we also learned about some rules they have set in place in the Galápagos. Post lunch we headed back on the bus just to get on another taxi boat of which took us to the speed boat that we would be on for a little over 2 hours to get to Isabela island. And boy was is it a good thing that I was assigned to blog today because everyone on the boat at some point fell asleep after being dosed up with motion sickness pills. I personally didn’t take any motion sickness pills so I was able to somehow stay awake for the entire duration of the boat ride. My peers probably hate me for taking so many pictures of them sleeping, of which I’ll be adding later when we have better internet connection. However, I was the only one awake for the entire time, even our professors Jean and David got to take a little snooze.
Once we finally arrived on the island of Isabela, we hopped in a tiny van that managed to fit everyone and within 5 minutes we were at our hotel. The area in which we are currently staying somewhat resembles a Hawaiian beach town. Very humid, tropical, with the addition of many herds of white people touring the island.
Finally, after we settled in we had a group meeting about the many activities we had available for tomorrow. These activities included a hike up a volcano, surfing, kayaking and visiting a flamingo breeding center. This process of deciding took forever as both our tour guide and the students were confused about the options. I personally plan on heading to the flamingo breeding center and surfing tomorrow because the tour guide didn’t sell me on the hike when he described it as “its nice.” I definitely look forward to what our next adventures will bring. However, until then, I hope I don’t suffer from sunburn. (Yes mom I’ve been using sunscreen).
Anyways, I’m now signing off with hopes I can successfully upload this. Note that I also had to type all of this on my phone because we were told to leave our laptops and pack lightly.