Up early at 4:30. We had the luggage outside the door at 5:30 with it separated into what was staying at the hotel and what was going with us. After checking out and breakfast we were on our way to the airport. I was surprised to learn that there was a Galapagos Airline – AeroGal. See the cute iguana on the logo? We had to go thru a separate check in for the Galapagos. They give special attention to make sure you are not bringing any plant or animal life with you. Everyone also has to pay a $10 immigration fee.
The first leg of our flight today was from Quito to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. Guayaquil is located on the coast and is only a 35 minute flight from Quito. I was impressed with AeroGal. The planes were new, clean and roomy. The service was excellent. On the short 35 minute flight we were served drinks and a pastry. I had the fortune of sitting next to our group leader Gustavo on the flight. He pointed out many features of the country as we passed over.
This impressive mountain is the ice-capped volcano Chimborazo. It’s last eruption was about 1400 years ago, but on the average it erupts every 1000 years. I am glad we didn’t get to witness it coming to life. An interesting fact about Chimborazo is that it’s the highest volcano in the Northern Andean Volcanic Zone and the summit is the FARTHEREST point from the earth center. Measured from the center of the earth it is 2229 meters higher than Mt. Everest. This is due to the equatorial bulge of the earth and Chimborazo is located only a few degrees from the equator.
At the airport in San Cristobal we were welcomed with this sign
After a very short (10) minute bus ride we arrived at the pier.
There is no doubt who rules in the Galapagos – the wildlife…
Suited up and heading for our ship. Kay, Wayne and Peggy.
The other group behind us.
Arriving at our boat, the Carina.
Bob waiting while the first group unloads.
Wayne getting ready to sample our first meal aboard our home for the next 3 nights.
After lunch and a brief rest, we head to Isla Lobos for snorkeling and then exploring the island. Unfortunately, my new snorkel began to malfunction after about 15 minutes out. The valve is obviously defective. I was able to use one from the boat for the rest of our trip.
Below are a few photos of the wildlife we saw.
The first of many Blue Footed Boobies to be seen.
A gull type which Gustavo said he had never seen on the islands before
Sally Lightfoot crab. They are everywhere….
It was a very tiring but satisfying day. Looking forward to tomorrow.