Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Enchanting World of Charles Darwin: the Galapagos

Santa Cruz, Galapagos---How can I find the words to fully describe these islands? How can I explain the feelings that such a place evokes? I don’t think I can. I do know in retrospect, that I can’t imagine my life lived without having been here. It is that special.

Once we arrived and went ashore, processing the boat with customs and immigration was a bit confusing. The captain had been here before and we had been advised of the policy that a boat could re-provision with a 24 hour stay with no fees. But either we fell into a scam or that has changed, needless to say, the boat had to pay the fees and the scramble to get me disembarked from the yacht was not an issue as once thought. And, being that the boat had to pay the fees anyway, the captain decided they could stay for three days.

During all this we ended up with an agent named Johnny. Diesel can only be bought through an agent if you are not a local. Assistance was needed for water and paperwork processing. I was fortunate that his agency also represented tours on the island as well as travel in Ecuador. I had been told wrong information from a Galapagos travel agent I had contacted; I can pay a one-way ticket off the island with a letter from the agent explaining I had arrived on a yacht. Information that non-yacht travel agents don’t seem to know.

Though the agency, I got a hotel room for $25 per night and it included breakfast! So I moved off the boat and had hot showers and air conditioning for the first time in months. The crew used it as a central place to meet on land…and a few hot showers themselves.

Johnny had been a tour guide before starting his business and was a wealth of information.

After a few days, the captain extended when they were leaving by another day, then another, then another. All-in-all, they stayed the same amount of time as I did and we had great fun seeing the sites and talking about what we had seen each night. Each one of us longed to stay on, to see more. It seemed like every day brought a new amazing sight, something around each corner that was only to be seen here, in the Galapagos. A world somewhat locked in time and struggling to stay that way.


Anonymous said...

Wow Amazing! Thanks for Sharing!

Emily said...

I have been following your whole story, from Trinidad on... amazing. The Galapagos looks like the best of it all.