South America - Day 7
By Max Seebohm
Categories: south america
Early breakfast this morning before we transferred to the airport for our flight to Galápagos, while we were at the airport we were briefed by our Galapagos Travel Connection Guide on what happens from here. He met us exactly on time and had all our e- tickets all organised for us so we could check straight in and go to the boarding gate, well all except for me! They said I was booked on a different flight to everyone else but after a short discussion he picked up the vibe that I was far from happy with this arrangement and that soon got changed.
While we were sitting waiting in the boarding lounge we found out our flight was delayed by one and a half hours! Eventually it was our time to board and we took off towards the Galápagos Islands. Even with our delayed arrival our tour guide was still waiting when we arrived, so that was good.
It was a bit of a fight to get everyone on the bus to the ferry as we had to get our big cases on as well and there were more people than seats. We did make it through and when we got to the ferry our cases went into the back of a ute straight to the hotel.
We then went to have lunch at a nearby ranch before checking out all the giant tortoises that were around the place, these are the ones that live on the land and eat grass but don’t swim. When it’s too hot or cold they work their way under low lying bushes to control their body temperature. The tortoises can live as long as 200 years and get as heavy as 250 kilograms. There are about 40000 tortoises on this island and they are protected.
We also got to walk through one of the lava tubes in the area, it travelled for about 150 metres horizontally underground. Once we had finished our tour of the area we got onboard our bus and headed for our hotel in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a very tidy town with plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. And believe it or not plenty of souvenir shops who are happy to barter with the tourists and the currency here is all American dollars.
The population of the Galápagos Islands is approximately 18000 people and everyone has to be able to support themselves. You have to be born her to live here or marry someone who lives here, you can’t just move here. Very happy friendly locals and everyone in our group is having an enjoyable time here.
On arrival at our hotel we were very pleasantly surprised, it is a very new hotel, only about 3 months old and is right in the centre of town, an open restaurant on the top floor looking over the town beautiful. We had a late lunch today and are now having a late dinner, then off to bed as it’s been a long day and we are doing our first island hop first thing in the morning.