Imagine a land where numerous species cohabitate. Where there are hundreds of thousands of lizards, some of which both walk on land and swim in water. Where you can find birds with bright blue feet. Where there are beaches teeming with sea lions. Where animals have no natural fear of humans. Where you can find dramatic landscapes – rock formations frozen into a solid lava flow, others that look like moonscapes. Where there are animals you won’t find anywhere else in the world. This is the Galapagos. A place that inspired Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory and that many wildlife lovers dream of visiting. Of course it’s been on my list. So one fine day in April, I started fantasising about my dream honeymoon to the Galapagos. What better excuse to spend thousands of dollars on a holiday? (Not that I need one.) So I started my search. I contacted an Ecuadorian travel agency to find out about availability and booked a cruise on a 16-passenger yacht for December. Booking was the easy part. I paid an initial deposit when booking, with the balance due 2 months before departure, at which point I contemplated forfeiting my deposit and not going because it was going to take four flights and 24 hours of flying time, and burn a hefty hole in my pocket. But wow, was it worth it! The boat. The yacht, the Galapagos Odyssey, was luxury. The food. Our personal chef was amazing. Nothing better than coming back from an excursion to have hot cocoa and fresh empanadas waiting for you. He even let me hijack his galley and bake brownies for my fellow passengers on the last night. I winged it, without a recipe, had to substitute loads of ingredients, and make a double portion! After 1.5 hours they were still raw inside. Oops, hope no one noticed. The islands. Each island has its own character. Some are completely unique. Some are variations on a theme. Some are barren landscapes. Some have lush vegetation. Some have animals everywhere. Some have very few. The Galapagos are regulated so each day you follow a strict itinerary. An excursion in the morning, an excursion in the afternoon. Maybe a snorkel or kayak trip thrown in for good measure. After which you can laze in the onboard jacuzzi! The animals. There’s no place else in the world like it. Hundred-year old tortoises. A curious Galapagos hawk. Marine iguanas. Blue footed boobies. Face-to-face with a sea lion. A bright red crab. Snorkelling trip to see sea turtles. Who’s that photo-bombing my picture? The Galapagos were a dream. Unlike anywhere I’ve ever travelled. 100 thousand times worth the money. An experience I will never forget in my lifetime. And I’m already fantasising about my next trip back. We booked the 5-night/6-day Itinerary C of the Western Islands, including Isabela and Fernandina on the Galapagos Odyssey through Happy Gringo Travel. US$3095 per person including all excursions and meals.
Adventures in the Galapagos