The Eagle Has Landed

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Sep 06, 2012

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Flag of Ecuador  , Galapagos Islands,
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Well, I cannot believe that the day has finally come. I am flying to the Galapagos today with Mel.  We were both so excited.  We were up and packed and ready to go at 9 am.  Jumped in a taxi to the airport which only took about 5 minutes as it was so close to the hostel.

This trip is going to cost me a fortune, but it will be well worth it.  When we got into the terminal, we had to get our bags checked first to make sure we were not taking anything onto the island which is banned, due to contamination, or illegal.  We then had to pay a $10 tax each which we think is for a departure tax for the islands.  Only after all this we could check in and get rid of our bags.  We also found out that when we arrive on the island, we have to pay a further $100 (all this is US Dollars by the way) as the park entrance fee.  They really know how to make their money here!

The flight over from Guayaquil took approx 1 1/2 hours and was pretty smooth.  When we got off the plane, we were like little kids arriving at a fun fair.  We could not contain ourselves.  To be honest, I never thought I would visit a place like this, so to actually set foot on the islands was an incredible feeling.

It took another 45 minutes or so to stand in the queue and wait to pay the $100 entrance and then collect our bags before jumping on the shuttle bus which took us to the port.  We landed on the Island of Baltra, which is right next to Santa Cruz, which a small channel of water dividing them, so we had to get a ferry across to the other side.  From here, we then caught the local bus which took us to Puerto Ayora where we were staying.  The journey took about 45 minutes which was from the north side of the island to the south.  The weather at the moment is slightly overcast, but you can feel the sun burning through the clouds so no worries about not getting a tan.

The bus dropped us off at the port and we hopped into a taxi to take us to our hostel.  Wow, we certainly got a good hostel here.  We booked a privet room for the night and it was awesome.  Two double beds, a kitchen, drinking water and a lovely bathroom.  Feels like luxury.

Kevin, the hostel owner took us on a free tour of the port so we could get our bearings and also to point out banks, good restaurants and tour operators that you can trust.

After the tour, Mel and I had a little walk around, getting our first glimpse of the local wildlife.  Sea lions led around everywhere and pelicans flying around.

After walking around loads of the tour operators, which felt like hours, we found a guy that we booked some day tours with.  We were thinking about a cruise, but Mel only has a short period of time here and they are really expensive.  At least with day tours we will see some of the islands.

We splashed out that evening and had a nice meal in one of the local restaurants before heading back to the hostel to have an early night.  We are so excited about this place we can't wait to get out and explore.
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