Galapagos

And to the Galapagos

Like something from a Space movie, tortoises in the Galapagos Highlands

We have, we think organised our bikes to be airfreighted from Quito to Panama when we ride down from Bogota. I have to say dealing with shipping agents here in Quito is not easy and we have great help from our local translator, Patricia Williams. But the charges are exhorbitant – looking like $700 US per bike before we even get the cost of the air freight itself. The process is just so full of ticket clippers – from customs officials whose fees change weekly to shipping agents to dangerous goods specialists – you name it. Anyway we think we have it organised although they want 5 days to process all their bloody paper work while they hold the bikes – sort of the nemesis of efficiency really.

Anyway we’re out to the Galapagos for some light relief – for an opportunity to examine the species that this corner of the world has in abundance and are endemic only to this location. This is where Charles Darwin got excited off course back in 1835 when he called in here aboard the Beagle captained by his friend Robert Fitzroy, just three months before they called into the Bay of  Islands, New Zealand.

So first stop is San Cristobel Island where we’ve done some scuba diving at Kicker Rock. Had hoped to see hammerheads but we didn’t. Sat on the sea floor however in the channel and watched White Tip and Galapagos Sharks circling – quite cool amidst the turtles, mata rays and plethora of other colourful fish. trouble with hammerheads is thatthey love current – and given our scuba limitations, we don’t. Oh well.

Heaps of Iguanas and Sea Lions just saunteering around the main town on San Cristobel. No fear of the tourists – cool. Then across to Santa Cruz island to stay at the Finch Bay Resort (a bit flash but right on the waterfront so great location) and we’re doing a series of day trips to the various small islands that all hav their own unique species to skite about. That start’s tomorrow but before that it’s a visit to see the 220 kg tortoises up in the Highlands.

What I’m really looking forward to though is seeing penguins and pink flamingos existing side by side – that’s the magic of the Galapagos. Photos here.

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