Galapagos Islands! - Amy's Amazing Adventures
Amy's Amazing Adventures

Galapagos Islands!

by on Mar.03, 2009, under Uncategorized

So, Dad just informed me that there was a bombing in Egypt on Sunday at the Kahn El Kahlili market that I talked about in my blog. Steve and I were there only 3 weeks ago! One person was killed and 20 injured.  Pretty scary! I’m really glad that we were safe.

We got to Quito, Ecuador on Monday. We expected to be picked up by someone from our tour group at the airport, but no one was there. Instead we were met by a hoard of media and fans. Unfortunately, they weren’t our fans. We had been on the plane from Panama with a FIFA soccer team from somewhere that apparently is quite popular in Quito.

We took a taxi to the Hotel Quito and waited a few hours for our group to arrive, but then found out that we weren’t staying at that hotel. So, one of our tour guides drove us to the correct hotel.

The next morning, we were met in the lobby by our tour guide, who brought us back to Hotel Quito where the rest of the group was staying. We picked them up, drove to the airport, and flew to Guayaquil; then the Island of Baltra in the Galapagos.


The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean. They are 972 km west of continental Ecuador.


In the Baltra airport, Steve thought the checked baggage system was pretty bizarre. They took the bags off the plane, and just threw them in a pile on the floor, while all the people waited behind a line. Then they let the people in, and you had to just sort through the pile and get your bag.

We got a bus to a small boat which took us to the Yacht. “The Gap Adventure 5″. There were 20 passengers and 8 crew and 2 guides on board. It was a very nice boat. Lots of room to do different activities like board games, reading, movies, sun bathing, swimming, diving, and eating in the dining room.

We were on the boat for 4 days and 3 nights. Each day we went to a different Island that had different animals and features. No island was similar.


We got to each Island from the Yacht by taking a dinghy. There were “wet landings” and “dry landings”. A dry landing is when we were able to get out of the dinghy on dry land, usually on some sort of dock or rocks. A wet landing is when we got out of the dinghy in the water at the beach.


The day we got to the boat, we had a dry landing at North Seymore Island where we saw Sea Lions…


Marine Iguanas… blog-7-iguana-24


Frigate Birds…blog-7-frigat1

Blue Footed Boobies…blog-7-boobie

Red Crabs…blog-7-crab

Lava Lizards…blog-7-lava-lizard

It was really hot! About 30C. We were on the Island for about 2 hours, then went back to the boat where we rested for a little while, and had a meeting about the next days activities then had supper.

In the evenings, we watched for dolphins and turtles while the sun was setting, then laid on the deck and looked at the stars. The stars were amazingly bright! I’ve never seen the stars like that before.

On Wednesday (day 2), we had breakfast at 7am, then a wet landing on the beach where we spent the morning swimming with sea lions!


When we got back to the boat, before lunch, we went swimming off the boat. I put my feet in, but then saw fish, so freaked out, and didn’t go swimming. Steve and some of the other guys jumped off the very top of the boat which was about 30 feet high!


Steve saw a massive school of fish under the boat as he was swimming. It was so thick that he jumped out of the water for fear of a shark being in the middle of it. (Steve is forcing me to mention that he jumped back in eventually)


After lunch, and a siesta, we had a dry landing on an Espanola Island which is the oldest of the Galapagos Islands at about 300 million years old. It was  supposed to be a dry landing, but a huge wave crashed over the rocks just as we were about to leave the dinghy, and most people got quite wet! The rocks were covered with red crabs, and huge sea lions.


We walked along a path that took us to a cliff where we saw a natural blow hole in the rocks. When the waves crashed n the rocks, the water was forced into a small opening and shot up to 30 meters into the air!



The next morning (day 3) we had a wet landing on Floreana Island. It has a population of about 170 people. It’s always been a favourite island for visitors including pirates, whalers and early settlers. We spent a few minutes on the beach writing post cards to people which we then took to the post office!


The post office is a wooden barrel that has been used since the 18th century by whalers. We looked through the mail that was inside, to see if there was anything for anyone from home. We found about 5 post cards for some people in Halifax, so I took them and will mail them when I get home. We left our post cards there and the next time someone from Nova Scotia or Alberta visits the post office, they will take our postcards home and mail them! They could be delivered in a few weeks, or months or years!

We then walked to a lava cave where Steve climbed down a ladder to a pitch black cave with freezing shin-deep water. I stayed above ground because I wasn’t wearing shoes. Steve wasn’t wearing shoes either, but that didn’t stop him from exploring.

We walked back to the beach and went swimming. The water was very warm. It was almost warm enough to distract me from the fact that there were fish swimming around me! I should get over my fear of fish…

We went back to the boat to drop off our stuff then went snorkeling at Devil’s Crown. I intended to try it… but the guide said there were sharks, so I chickened out and stayed in the dinghy! Steve tried it and took some pictures of the fish and sharks!


After lunch, and a siesta, we left the boat for the other side of Floreana Island. It was a wet landing on a black sand beach. We walked from there to the lagoon the flamingos live in! Unfortunately, there were only a few baby flamingos to see.

After the lagoon, we saw the green sand beach. The sand really is green! The green sand is caused by the volcanic olivine crystals.


There was a white sand beach on the other side of the green sand beach. The white sand is formed by the erosion of coral skeletons. It is a nesting site for green sea turtles.


Day 4, we woke up extra early for breakfast because we were leaving that afternoon for the airport to Quito, and we wanted to have time to visit the Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island.


We were able to see giant tortoises, including Lonesome George who is the very last of his kind on earth!


The baby turtles were very cute! They are kept in the Darwin center until they are 5 years old to protect them from predators like cats, dogs, rats, pigs etc.

We shopped for a few minutes at the gift shop, then walked a long way to a bus, which drove a long way to a ferry, which took us to Baltra where we got another bus that took us to the airport!

I’m going to miss the Galapagos! I will absolutely be visiting again someday!


We are now in Quito, which is a million times more amazing than we thought when we got here a week ago! I’ll be blogging about our Ecuadorian adventures very soon!

16 comments for this entry:
  1. Jen Reid

    Wow Amy… I think this is also now on my list of places to travel to… you take amazing pictures… looks absolutely beautiful… and the animals are too cute! all of them!

  2. Greg

    How come the green turtles nest on the white sands and not the green sands? I hope you asked that question! :)

  3. Greg

    How old is george? He looks old!

  4. Greg

    How come on of the sealions had sun glasses and red shorts? LOL

  5. Howard MacKinnon

    What an amazing adventure. The photos are terrific.

  6. Steve

    Just to set the record straight, I wasn’t SCARED of the sharks, I was hoping to see them. Hence the picture of the sharks I took 😛 Sweet bloggin btw.

  7. Howard MacKinnon

    Where’s the picture of the red-shorted sea lion riding the blow hole?

  8. Howard MacKinnon

    Did you read about the shark attacks in Australia a few days after you left? That’s two near misses, missy.

  9. Howard MacKinnon

    I am kicking myself for not thinking to tell you to look at some celestial objects not visible in the Northern Hemisphere, especially the Large Magellanic Cloud.

  10. Renee

    Beautiful photos to remember your amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing!!

  11. Tere

    Amy, you may not have seen any Magellanic Clouds, but wow, you’ve seen some beautiful animals!! What an amazing trip you’re having.

  12. Shari Day

    Excellent job on the blog. Beautiful pictures and facinating captions. Oh dear, you missed the Magellanic Clouds. I hate when I do that. Now you will have to go back for sure. I’ll see you and the red-shorted sea lion in a few hours. ttfn

  13. Allison

    ive deicided just now that im going to be the post office worker. seems like they need the help…:)

  14. admin

    Thanks for commenting everyone!
    I loved my visit to the Galapagos, and will be going back some day for sure.
    Lonesome George is only about 80 years old. Which is quite young, since they can live to be about 200.

  15. Howard MacKinnon

    Amy happens to be interested in astronomical phenomena. Hence the appropriateness of my remark.

  16. vince

    im so sad about the turtle it was having a good long live :”(

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