Wednesday 14th May 2014
Quito to Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
We had to be up early today as we were being picked up from our hotel at 6:40am, so we had breakfast when the restaurant opened at 6:00am. Our airport pickup arrived at 6:50am and we were transported about 45 minutes to the airport and checked in our luggage for the flight. The flight goes from Quito via Guayaquil to San Cristobal and we left at 10:15am. On our flight were 50 very excited and excitable school children who (we found out) were going on an excursion to Galapagos. It was only a short flight to Guayaquil (about 30 minutes) - some people got off there, others got on and then it took about one and a half hours longer to get to San Cristobal. We arrived there at about 2:00pm, paid our US$100 entrance fee, then were transported to our boat Coral 1 by bus and zodiac and allocated our cabins. We are on the sea deck (lowest) and have two portholes. The cabin has two single beds with a bedside table between them, a very small wardrobe which has a safe in it, as well as a seat about 2 metres long with two drawers underneath for storage. There is a small bathroom with a shower, toilet and washbasin. It is quite OK for size but our carpet is wet, something is leaking on to it. We will have to check and see whether they can sort that out for us. After we had settled in we had a briefing and then went back to shore to catch a bus to Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve where we learnt about how the National Park is breeding tortoises and eventually releasing them into the wild. This program has been operating since 2005. After we took some photos and walked around this reserve we then returned to the town, looked at the shops and then returned to the boat just a bit after sunset. We had a welcome drink and met the crew, then had dinner and another briefing following dinner. The people on this trip seem fine. To bed around 10:30pm. Day fine approx 25C.