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The Galapagos Islands

by - 19 Aug 2010

You have too much money and wonder how to spend it? We can recommend to go travelling! You don’t have much time? Then go to the Galapagos Islands – on these unique islands 1000 km away from the Ecuadorian coast you will get rid of a lot of money in very short time. In five days you spend more than other people spend in five months in India. Yes, that’s a bit crazy, but it’s worth it!!

Galapaos Islands

Galapaos Islands

After 8 months of serious backpacking we spoiled ourselves and went on a first class cruise ship for which we got a good last minute deal. We chose this particular boat because it went to the more remote places where you can observe bigger colonies of all kinds of animals without sharing the place with other tour groups.
Coming on board the ship we were amazed by the size of the lounge which was probably already the size of our apartment in Munich. Our cabin was much bigger than most of our hotel rooms. Our shower had 24 hour hot water – a standard that some places on the mainland still don’t meet.

Seaman II

Lounge von Seaman II Our cabin on the ¨Seaman II¨, Galapgos Islands

Booking this ship we were highly looking forward to a dramatic change of our every day food. The South American diet of a chicken soup with rice and then rice with potato and chicken tastes good from day one to three, but after a while you wish for more inspiration, but you can be sure to be disappointed. The rich buffet on board was certainly not disappointing and we probably even gained weight during the cruise, because we simply couldn’t resist to try everything. It seemed that we were fed all the time. Whenever we got back from an excursion either on land or in the water the bartender had prepared some snacks and a delicious drink. We are still thankful for the hot chocolate they offered every time after snorkeling in the freezing cold ocean. The crew members were all wonderful and the service was always excellent, we just couldn’t have hoped for more! Our guide was maybe a little bit of a cold fish but he was very knowledgeable about Galapagos. This was very important for us because in the end its for the unique wildlife that everyone comes to the islands and not for the dinner buffet.

Galapagos Riesenschildköte, Galapaos Islands Marine Iguanas, Galapaos Islands

If you have ever been wildlife-watching before (where you are used to spot the animals from a secure distance and sometimes you do not get to see them at all) your wildlife world will be turned upside down. You get to be so unbelievable close to all the different animals – not even in a zoo you will ever come that close! Very often sea lions and iguanas were blocking the way so that we had to watch out not to step on them! Our guide explained that the Galapagos animals have rarely seen human beings hunting in the area that’s why they do not perceive humans as a threat and they have not developed a flight instinct towards us.
We remembered our wild life watching in New Zealand with all the warning signs that tell you how far you have to stay away from the animals so they are not disturbed. Especially sea lions feel easily threatened on land and they will attack if you do not keep a distance of at least 20m. But on the Galapagos Islands you come so close, even when the babies are being nursed, that its hard to resist not to reach out to pet the cuddly sea lions.

Sarah und Seelöwe, Galapaos Islands

Baby Seelöwe wird gestillt, Galapaos Islands

Auf die Knie fürs beste Foto!

We were not only amazed by the vicinity to the animals but also by the huge amount of them. In a spot nicknamed „Iguana City“ we first noticed only lava stones and some iguanas on the pathway – until we realized that everything we had perceived as lava stones were iguanas too!
We did not only have great wildlife encounters on land but also in the water. We swam with sea lions and huge marine turtles (because of bad under water visibility Sarah almost bumped into three or four of the turtles). An unforgettable experience!

Marine Iguanas und Friedrich, Galapaos Islands
Friedrich in „Iguana City“

Blue Footed Boobie, Galapaos Islands
Blue Footed Boobie

But the best cruise can be ruined if you have unpleasant companions on board. Luckily we shared the boat with 14 other very sympathetic passengers. We were all very different which resulted in a very interesting mix of people. There was the American Economy Professor with his adopted son from China, then there was the backpacking French-German couple who are also traveling for a year around the world, then the American family where the mother worked as a professional singer and violinist until she broke her wrist. On the occasion of a birthday she impressed us by singing a couple of songs and entertaining the whole table. Last not least there was another lovely American family with two teenage daughters. We were amused to hear that the father named his first daughter „Beverly Diana“ after some main characters of his favorite TV series. The ones who think now of Doctor Beverly Crusher and Counselor Diana Troy have outed themselves as well informed Star Trek fans. We were wondering how he would have called his first son? Data Worf or simply Jean-Luc?!

Galapaos Islands Sarah die Galapagosriesenschildkröte

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From → Ecuador

4 Kommentare
  1. I have to out myself as a huge Star Trek: The Next Generation nerd and correct you: The spelling of the Enterprise’s empathic counsellor’s name is „Deanna Troi“.

    And as for the son: He’s got a lot of good choices. As long as he doesn’t call his offspring „Wesley“ he’ll be okay 🙂

    Did you re-enact some rap video classics while being on a huge yacht? I am thinking of this especially: http://youtu.be/R7yfISlGLNU

  2. I love the photo of the blue footed boobie and posted it on my blog 🙂
    I saw the pics on Flickr before but i really enjoy reading the stories that are behind it. The Iguanas especially are fascinating. Mooohaaaawks!

  3. DDlP permalink

    Yes, the rap video is fitting right: Famous island skyline at the horizon (isn’t it? Or not?), humble approach to the wonders of the world and they even get to meet some of the marine wildlife.
    You really had a good time!

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