GI-96 Galapagos Islands 1996 – ECUADOR
Date of travel: Oct 15 – Oct 22, 1996
On Oct 15, 1996 at 3:40 AM I drive in a rented car from Vista to LAX. There I take a Carnival Air plane to Miami. In Miami I switch to an Ecuador company Saeta plane via Guayaquil to the capital of ECUADOR, Quito, where I land at 10:30 PM. A local guide takes me to my hotel by taxi. The following morning I explore the city on my own and in the afternoon I have a sightseeing of Quito, but there is very bad and rainy weather, so I cancel it (I was here once before).
On Oct 17 I leave Quito by plane. There is a short stop in Guayaquil. Then 1.5 hour flight to San Cristobal Island, my first GALAPAGOS ISLAND. Here our group is getting to know each other. First, there is a tour around the island. Then we board the ship. We were to be on a large comfortable ship, but because we are a little group of 7, the travel office put us on a small sailboat. There are miniature cabins in it and though I was to have a cabin just for me, I am to share it with the captain. I refuse that. So the captain will sleep on the open deck. But the beds, one above the other, have very little space above them, I get claustrophobic and most of the night sleep also on the deck.
The following morning we drop anchor at the Tower Island (also Isla Genovesa). By a zodiac to this volcanic island. Sharpe lava everywhere. Many birds of various species. We see 2 turtles in the ocean. In the afternoon another walk on the island. Then I do some swimming. We are on the equator, but the water isn’t warm. There is stormy sea at night and few people get seasick.
On Oct 19 we are at James Island (also Isla San Salvador). By zodiac to the island. From this island we see the biggest island Isabela with its 3 volcanoes. Many “Marine Iguanas” around us. In the afternoon we get to small Bartolome Island. We visit the island and see the “Galapagos penguins.”
On Oct 20 we land at Puerto Ayora which is the largest town of the Galapagos Islands. We are on Santa Cruz Island. Here we visit the “Charles Darwin Research Center” and learn about Darwin’s work. In the afternoon we visit a small Santa Fe Island. Next day morning back on Isla San Cristobal. In the afternoon, we board a plane there and fly to Guayaquil and later to Quito where in a hotel overnight.
On Oct 22 morning I fly from Quito via Guayaquil to Miami. Where I change to Carnival Air plane to LAX where in the evening. I rent a car and get home to Vista just before 11 PM.
Travel office: Robinsons-May Travel & Marco Polo (because the small ship I got $500 refund after the trip).
Who took part: 7 people of the group