Tales From the Road: Galapagos

November 05, 2009
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IE Art Director Charlie Boyd has just returned from our unforgettable 10-day Galapagos Islands tour. Be sure to check in often over the next week as Charlie shares his thoughts and stories from this Galapagos vacation aboard the Evolution.

Arrival in the Galapagos

After arriving in Ecuador and spending a night in the Oro Verde Hotel in Guyaquil, we boarded our charter flight to the Galapagos. Everyone was excited as our plane flew within sight of the islands. Kicker Rock and turquoise waters were easily seen through the window (I think I even saw a sea lion!).

Approaching the EvolutionWe were met at the small airport by our naturalist guides, Alex and Christina. Our small group soon boarded a bus and made the 10 minute transfer to the harbor, where pangas (excursion boats) were waiting to take us to the Evolution. Once aboard the Evolution, we were greeted with fresh juice and a snack. After a safety briefing, we were shown to our cabins where we found our luggage waiting for us. Our home for the week would be cabin C4.

We noticed the ship was beginning to move… our Galapagos adventure cruise had officially begun. Many people were out on deck during the short voyage — trying on wetsuits, flippers and masks. We were going to have the chance to snorkel that afternoon at Cerro Brujo. We soon arrived at Cerro Brujo and boarded the pangas to go ashore.

Yellow WarblerOnce ashore we soon spotted the first of many sea lions that we would see throughout the week. After taking several pictures of the sea lion, I had an experience that let me know right away that the Galapagos was a special place. I saw a yellow warbler about 10 feet from me. Wow, I thought, the animals really do get close… much closer than the warblers at home that usually keep to the tree-tops. I squatted down on one knee and began taking some photos. The tiny bird kept hopping  closer, and closer, and closer, until he went right below me — passing just inches from my foot!

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After finishing our walk and a quick swim in the cool water, we headed back to the Evolution. The sun was starting to go down and the ship soon set sail again. Everyone gathered on the top deck for an evening cocktail and a spectacular view of Kicker Rock, the remains of a lava cone, now split in two. The timing could not of been better. The large rocks glowed brilliant orange and yellow with the rays of the setting sun.

A delicious dinner followed, as did bedtime soon after. What at day! It seemed we had already seen so much, and this was only the beginning.

Next: The Albatrosses of Española Island