We only spent one night in Guayaquil after a totally uninteresting tour of a totally uninteresting city. This morning we took a 2 hour domestic flight to The Galapagos. In order to come here we have had to fill in so many forms that I now know my passport number by heart. The area is UNESCO protected and I have undertaken to respect the environment in 100 different ways. When we finally managed to get through the customs and immigration. inquisition, we were met and escorted to our ship which was moored off shore. A bench on the jetty was occupied by a sleeping sea lion.
Later we were to see these creatures all over the place. The yacht was moored out in the open sea so we had to board zodiacs to reach the ship.
Whilst not as luxurious as the river boat I was on on the Mekong, it is very nice and the staff are very keen for us to enjoy our trip to the Galapagos. We barely had time to draw breath before we were summoned to a safety briefing. Before we knew quite what was happening we were back on the zodiac and were taken to a tortoise reserve. The road we travelled on was well surfaced but on each side of the road was thick undergrowth, shrubs and trees, presumably much the same as Darwin saw it. The reserve was similar. There was a very rough partly cindered track which we were not permitted to step off. We walked in single file everyone peering into the undergrowth on each side. Just when it seemed that we were not to see turtles, there they were, one after the other. Easy to miss because they appear totally comatose and the same colour as the rocks surrounding them.
By the time we were again in the Zodiac heading back to the ship, it was after 6.30 p.m. and almost dark. A rush to wash my hands and face because drinks with our leader and the Captain timed for 7p.m. I don’t know when I shall get time to wash my smalls or even shower because
tomorrow starts at 6.30 !