Off to the Galapagos.
Trip Start Nov 13, 2010
91Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Cruz del Sur
Our flight to the Galapagos had us flying Quito – Guyaquil, short stop and on to the islands….sounds fine…..OMG! We were concerned with who might be our sailing partners for the next week and of course I had strong opinions on who I would not want to share a small boat with and who I would. I will leave it up to your imaginations on who fits into either category at the risk of offending some of you. So, as we boarded in Quito and saw the masses of Galapagos bound folks travelling in Penguin packs, following their tour guide leaders, hauling every Tilley gadget and bird watching binoculars and tripods, bedecked in their zipoff pants and no –blow hats, we started…ok…I started to fear the worst. They all looked horrid and far too serious to spend any time with. Then we got on the plane!!!!
Yikes yikes yikes. I have been around obnoxious American travellers in nearly every country and…….sorry to all my American friends out there but you know what I mean…..we had, on our plane the whiniest, rudest, classic American windbags I have seen. The flight to Guayaquil lasted only 45 minutes and then we let off the business travellers and picked up some more Galapagos bound people. The plane had to refuel and we could not get off. That is normal. When the plane refuels, everything gets locked down and you can’t get off. The plane gets fuel, new people get on and away you go……..
Well. When we landed an announcement was made to stay on board if you were continuing on and the restrooms were locked during the refuelling process. A big group of rich Americans were onboard, along with other smaller groups of travellers from every place in the world. Our seats were beside the restrooms at the back of the plane and it seems that every single member of that group had 'small bladder syndrome’ and when they found out that the bathrooms were locked during refuelling they had numerous hissy fits and started abusing the flight crew. They wanted in the bathroom – they wanted off the plane…they told everybody how IN AMERICA THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN!!!! ON AMERICAN AIRLINES THE BATHROOM IS OPEN OR THEY TELL YOU BEFORE THE PLANE LANDS!!!! I’m not sure if they missed the notice is Spanish but this group was horrible and became nasty bullies. I soooo hoped that they were not going to be on our boat with their tight plastic surgery sock puppet faces.
They didn’t bully the doors open, in fact it was fun to watch the crew make the refuelling process longer and longer as this group made louder and louder demands and actually started counting down the minutes and seconds, out loud!. Eventually the process ended and everybody survived, no one peed their pants – some of them declared that they will never return to Ecuador, the flight took off and a short 90 minutes later we landed.
Once we finally made it to the boat and were united with our new shipmates, I think both they and us were really happy. We were 15 and not one American in sight. A young Dutch couple – Michael and Natalie, on a long South American trip, , a retired couple from Quebec – Louise and Yves, who had been travelling in South America in their camper van for the last 15 months and had 4 months more to make it home, a French Canadian woman - Jeanette and her Danish boyfriend - Turbin, a British Documentary Filmaker - Barry, two young married Austrian Doctors – Jakob and Eva, and us – two Austrians – Mary and Mariana, two Austrailians, Sami-Jo and Natalie, and Carolyn and me. Not one serious birder, not one serious trekker, no whiners, just a lovely group of diverse fun people – the existing group had been on the boat for about 4 days when we got on and had only a few days left . the boat was not what we expected – a little less luxurious than the photos depicted but after we were given the ‘princess suite’, one of only two above water and with windows that opened, we could not even think of whining.