Upon arrival at Baltra airport, we met Jorge our guide and the other members of the tour before being taken to our boat called the "Eden". At the jetty we were greeted by sea lions lounging on the chairs and marine iguanas basking in the sun. Once onboard, we were really impressed with the standard of the boat, dining room and cabins - which was a huge relief!
We were introduced to our group which was a good mixture of nationalities (no other English) but predominately American who we took great pleasure in mocking as they did us!
The cruise consisted of 8 days visiting a number of the islands where we would be taken by our guide for daily treks and snorkelling. Our days started at 6.45am for breakfast followed by activities starting at 7.30am until around 5.30pm.
We learnt a lot about the history and formation of the islands and found them to be amazing and unique places to explore. It was strange to find that every island was very different with its own unique flora and fauna. Due to each islands isloation and volcanic age, they have evolved differently - to be able to witness this first hand made us feel very priveledged. For example, on one island the cactuses have sharp spikes to protect themselves from being eaten whilst on another island where there are no predators the cactuses have no need for the spikes so have evolved without them!
We saw many varities of bird life, our favourite being the Blue footed Boobie! We were able to walk closely through sea lion and bird colonies without much notice being paid to us - the paparazzi tourists! We also came face to face with the giant Galapagos tortoises in the Charles Darwin breeding centre and also roaming around in the wild. On the beach, we were lucky enough to see turtles hatching and making their way to the sea only to be scopped up by frigate birds!
Snorkelling was unbelievable, playing with young curious sea lions wanting to dive and nibble at our fins! The funniest thing was when we witnessed one playful sea lion chasing a shark whilst biting its tail - we were in stiches! There were many turtles that cruised like bombers around us - again not bothered that we were there. We were also lucky enough to see penguins, rays and different varieties of sharks.
After the cruise, we spent 4 days on the main island Santa Cruz where we booked a day's diving at Gordon Rocks - a dive site where the hammerhead sharks are to be found! Again, we found the playful sea lions, eagel rays and a giant manta ray and we were the only lucky ones in the group to actually see the hammerheads!!!!
It's hard to capture in words what a wonderful experience we had in the Galapagos. So much wildlife and so trusting and unconcerned at our presence. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!