“Why are you going to the Galapagos?” In a somewhat angry voice he asked my sister, – You do not even love nature. In general, good scenery bothers me after about five minutes. As for the landscapes, I see similarities and not differences. My travel list is for meeting interesting people, tasting different foods, finding local markets and collecting travel stories.
Still, I had to go to the Galapagos simply because he was there. I got a ticket to Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, so a tourist trip to the islands was a must.
The Galapagos, the remote islands of Charles Darwin and the “origin of the species” has become famous off the coast of Ecuador, has long been a playground for the rich. But while on a budget, I bought a ticket, booked a one-day cruise, and booked a hostel in advance as well, as the December season is a high season in the Southern Hemisphere.
When the plane landed at Baltra Airport, I looked out the window and thought it might have been a farmer’s hay field somewhere around Foam Lake. The airport is more like an airplane than the one you saw in Stony Rapids, for example. Everyone queues up to find the bags smuggled by hand. No, it’s not the cocaine or marijuana they are looking for, it is the plants or animals that can destroy the islands’ delicate ecosystem. Remember that no one in Australia or New Zealand thinks rabbits are a favorite.
Representatives wrote off for plates ordered on precious cruises. For the rest of us, getting to Puerto Ayra – the “capital” of the island was more of an adventure. I went to the port of Free Ship, paid 50 cents to get on the ferry, and then boarded the city bus for $ 1.80. The total taxi was only $ 5, but I wanted to travel with the locals. By the way, Ecuador uses the US dollar as its official currency, so determining the conversion rate is not a problem.
Puerto Ayra is a fairly dusty, dilapidated city that can use paint and repair some streets. Sorted like the old part of Melville in the 1960s. I breathed in the salty air – the shadows of the Manitou beach – and enjoyed the intense cobalt blue water as a compensation for the infamous architecture. Later I had lunch at an outdoor cafe overlooking the harbor and watching people. In the true style of the island, no one seemed to be in a hurry. Under the influence of a slow pace I exhaled and calmed down.
A white taxi-truck cost anywhere in the city $ 1, so I put a flag next to it. Freddie took me to the hostel where I booked and rang the bell. უხNo answer. So I knocked on the door. There is still no answer.
What to do, what to do? Fred understood my dilemma and explained in Spanish that I was on a budget. He asked me, $ 25 is fine and I nodded. He then took me to a hotel, without a name, where I met English-speaking Cecilia. The hotel had not yet processed the final documents that it could not advertise. The special room with the balcony and white sheets was heavenly. Indeed, it could have been a room in an old or two-story hotel in Humboldt or Swift Dennis.
My concern was that the cruise trip pickup time was my booked 06:00 and it was from the hostel. Freddie promised to pick me up the next morning at 5:45 p.m. And, true to his word, he was there in time. After counting all the passengers from different hotels, we headed to the 45-minute drive. The flat landscape could have been anywhere around Regina. Then we crashed into trees and rocks and it looked more like the northern hemisphere, probably somewhere near La Rong.
We vaguely got into the dinghy that took us on the yacht. A collection of young, old and middle-aged. As is often the case, I was just a solo traveler. In the beginning I started talking to Lauren and her mother, Elodie from Johannesburg.
After arriving on board we had a cooked breakfast, prepared a dinghy and headed to Bartolemo Island. We drove there to the summit, with a “classic” view of the Galapagos. Yes, the view was “beautiful”, but more interesting was the relationship between the people – the strangers they met on board. Middle-aged women who had an old-fashioned name – Ethel or Myrtle or something like that – instantly liked me, barely returned the salute, and killed me all day. Perhaps he hates women with red hair.
At our second stop we walked to the island to see the penguins. Except they weren’t there at the time, so with the wildlife we only had the sea lion that landed on the beach to get some sleep. Yes, it was a “wonderful” sand strip that boilers had, for example, at Etter’s Beach in the 1970s.
After lunch, some people fell asleep in snokeling. Caitlan followed the water next to me and looked out over the massive volcanic wall that was in front of us. The composition was slightly different, but it looked like rocks along the Churchill River, near the Stanley mission. He sighed, “You know, the scenery is fine here, but it doesn’t cost much.” I smiled in agreement. It may have been midway around the world, but it looked like Saskatchewan, except the weather, of course, was about 25 plus in December. Proof was the knowledge that I was not the only person in the boat who did not admire the scenery.
People who want to experience some of the scenery in Galapagos can do so in Saskatchewan. If you live in North America, getting to Central Canada is much cheaper than flying to Ecuador and then flying to the islands.
List of Galapagos:
Interesting people. Tiki: Cecilia, Freddie, Lauren and Elodie.
Different foods. Tiki: The fare on the yacht was recognizable, but watching the chef eating in the closet-sized space was entertaining.
Local markets. Trail: In anticipation of a return flight – and they are always late – I found a kiosk at the airport offering a free Galapagos passport stamp. There I bought my favorite little shot glass that I use regularly.
Travel history. Tiki in the boat day is what I have said several times.