Galapagos (1) – Santa Cruz Island (1)

Sunday 10/06

Difficult to wake up at 5am, after less than 3 hours of sleep…

Quick breakfast. We take a Uber Van to the airport. We arrive 2 hours before our flight to Quito.

The flight lasts 1h30.

In Quito, Philippe, the French owner of the agency (Capac Nan) that organized our trip to the Galapagos, comes to welcome us at the airport. He helps us with the formalities at the airport. We indeed have a short (less than 2 hours) time before our connecting flight to the Galapagos (Baltra airport).

The flight is also short: 1h45.

We arrive around 2pm (there’s one hour difference with the continent).

Like everybody, we take a bus to the quick ferry crossing (5′) to Santa Cruz Island.

There we have 2 taxis (all the taxis are white pickups on the island) waiting for us to drive us to Puerto Ayora (40km, 30′) where our hotel is located.

On the road, the driver shows us 2 turtles (“small” according to him but big according to our standards). We also see a sea lion lazing in the port.

Our programme in the Galapagos is quite simple: 4 nights in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island (with one-day diving cruise for Isabelle and I), a 4-night cruise and then 4 nights on Santa Cristobal island (with a one-day diving cruise for the whole family).

Isabelle and I go to the diving center to try our gear for our dives on Tuesday. They guy at the diving centre sets our expectations quite high (which is never good) by talking about chances to see large schools of hammerhead sharks and also ‘mola mola’ (moon fish). Let’s cross fingers!

We join the kids in the hotel, where they are already enjoying the swimming pool.

We rest a bit in the hotel until 6pm, when we go and eat. We want something quick. We opt for a pizza at ‘Galapagos Deli’. The pizzas are not great but ok. We are done by 7pm!

We are very excited to discover the Galapagos. These remote oceanic islands are an untouched place in earth. The wildlife (under water as well) is so diverse and abundant that Galapagos is known as one of the most impressive and magical eco-destination in the world, together with (but totally different than) the nearby Amazon rainforest, the Antarctic Peninsula, the Great Barrier Reef and the Africa Savannah. We’ll have visited 3 of these 5 places during this world tour!

We go back to the hotel and by 8pm we are in bed; we sleep 15′ later. We were dead!


Monday 11/06 (1/2)

We wake up at 6am, after nearly 10 hours of sleep.

I work on my laptop, sorting out the pictures of the Festival del Señor de Qoyority (600 pictures!).

We take the breakfast at 8am, in the hotel (fruits and eggs).

We then go to the ‘Muelle de Los Pescadores’, a kind of small fish market, outside, near the port. A few women sell fish, surrounded by pelicans, iguanas and even 2 seals.

From there, we take a pick-up taxi to the excursion to Rancho Primicias (50 USD for the return trip, including the waiting time). We start with the lava tunnel. It’s quite big (wide and high) and it’s 400m long.

We then go to see the giant tortoises in the wild. Very impressive. There are 2 small ponds where many of them gather.

The weather is bad: grey sky and rain…

We ask the driver to stop us at the ‘Mercado Municipal’ to buy tomatoes and avocados. On our way to our hotel we buy bread.

At the hotel, we prepare sandwiches with avocado and tomato for lunch. We eat on the terrace and then chill a bit in the hotel until 2:30pm.

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