Where do I start with such a magical experience and a true highlight of my life so far? The Galapagos have been a dream of mine for a while but I thought I wouldn’t see until I was much older. As an animal lover I knew that this place would put me right into my element but as a person who suffers from sea-sickness I was really unsure how I would cope with a cruise in the open ocean at the roughest time of year. But it turns out, cruising really was the most spectacular way to visit this natural wonder and the sea was surprisingly calm with weather that was perfectly warm for wandering around islands.
Our adventure started by flying from Quito onto Baltra Island and boarding our Galapagos Legend ship along with about 80 other excited passengers. Once boarded we were able to get settled into our luxurious sleeping quarters and have some lunch in the dining room. We then disembarked onto 10 seater zodiac boats and headed towards San Cristobal Island where we were given the chance to see some of the town and go to the Interpretation centre. The centre was a wonderful place to begin the trip as it gave us detailed information all about the history of the islands including the wildlife and formation of the islands.
Alex and I then chose to walk back in to town rather than catching a bus and were able to walk along a beach covered with one of my favourite animals; sea lions. We then headed back to the boat for a chance to swim in the pool and have dinner with our fellow passengers.
Day two was a bit more exciting with a trip out to Espanola island where we were able to wander along Gardner bay which is home to a large colony of sea lions. The sea lions were happy to play around whilst we learnt all about the island and it’s inhabitants. We were also able to see some of Iguanas basking in the sun on the volcanic stones. The iguanas are unique to the Galapagos islands as they are able to drink the salty sea water and then spit the salt out making them a tiny scaly desalination plant! The waters around this island are a beautiful pale blue colour with great visibility which was perfect for snorkelling. The snorkelling was as beautiful as promised with quite a lot to see such as brightly coloured fish, sea lions, reef sharks and a few rays!
Our afternoon trip saw us visiting the other side of Espanola for a walk to Punta Suarez, we arrived on a beautiful coast which was covered with sea lions and Iguanas. The volcanic stones here were covered with sally light foot crabs and iguanas too!
We were fortunate enough to be there during breeding season for many of the birds and saw some mating dances from blue footed boobies and albatross. As we hiked across the island we saw a large albatross sitting on an egg and she was not bothered by us at all. An amazing thing about the Galapagos is that animals have no fear of humans as they have no predators on the islands.
Once we had hiked across the rocky terrain we arrived at a lookout over the cliffs and were able to see the Soplador blowhole which squirts water up to 75 feet into the air.