Day 332 Almost All Galápagos Wildlife in One Morning For Only U.S.$35

Dan is an excellent holiday planner. For Iceland at Christmas he drew up an itinerary of consecutive day trips that kept us occupied, prevented us from arguing over directions (I like to calculate North from the position of the sun and use a map, Dan is just off and running) and got us to see a good range of sites. Last night Dan recovered quickly from his dismay that we couldn’t get onto a cruise and wrote out a list of the islands and animals we wanted to see. We went and booked up the rest of our week’s vacation.

This morning we joined a “bay” tour – basically a bunch of stuff around Puerto Ayora. And what a bunch! We headed straight out of the bay, past a masked booby, to see seals sunning on rocks. We then headed back to one side of the bay where blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas lined the rocks. We got out to snorkel. Two giant sea turtles swam by, along with schools of fish and a curious seal.

We had applied sun cream three times but somehow forgot our backs and lower shoulder blades so we are now branded with first-day-of-summer-sunburn. It stings.

We got out of the boat twice, to walk overland through forests of cacti to see more marine iguanas sunning, Sally light foot crabs, the bay where sharks can usually be seen but not in today’s choppy water. We snorkelled again in a hidden lagoon between two sheer rock faces.

All before lunch.

At 14:00 we had a two-hour boat ride to Isla Isabela. I ignored the travel advice about managing sea sickness (which I get just thinking about boats) and ate a full plate of spaghetti carbonara. If I was going to upchuck I wanted something in my stomach to vomit up.

Everybody rushes to sit at the back of the boat. I realised why today as I was stuck at the front on both boats. Every wave that pushed the bow – and me – high in the air, my stomach lurching, only to crash down with a hard slam back into the water bruising my butt I gritted my teeth and thought, “That’s one less until we get there.” I just didn’t know how any more there would be. It’s a two-hour journey from Santa Cruz to Isla Isabela. I stared at the horizon across the other passengers and the back of the boat. Thankfully before nausea crept it’s way into my inner ears I felt sleepy and fell into a half-sleep where I was still awake enough to count each wave and slam but dream at the same time and not get sick enough to vomit. I had my cap on my lap in case and permission from Dan to use his cap second.

We’ve made it to Isla Isabela, where we’ve already seen pink flamingoes and been briefed on tomorrow’s six-hour hike up to a volcanic crater and back. Before lunch. The afternoon is something else.

I hope I don’t get woken up tonight by insects crawling over my pillow and into my hair because we will need the sleep.

The hotel wifi is too slow to upload and link photos so they are all on Instagram instead.


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