Joined February 2018 Message
  • Day18

    New friends

    March 27, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Today was another early morning. We woke up at 4:30 am to take a walk on the boardwalk to watch the sunrise. This proved to be another beautiful sunrise that included sea lions swimming and iguanas watching nearby.

    After sunrise I took some to sit and have a coffee in town while the others went for another hike. I wanted to stay out of the sun before the afternoon activities. But I did take some time to wander the town and the beach.

    But the afternoon activity was definitely a highlight! It started out rough when the boat made a couple stops in the middle of the ocean to snorkel with a manta ray. Fortunately these were short stops and we made a trip to a less rocky bay where we ate lunch and then walked around some rocks filled with blue footed boobies (rare birds). After our walk we got back in the boat and made a couple more snorkelling stops filled with a couple sea horses, lots of fish, huge sea turtles, and sharks!

    After snorkelling we went back into town for drinks by the beach and dinner.
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  • Day5

    Isla isabela galapagos

    March 14, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Next stop in the Galapagos is Isla Isabela where we headed after breakfast. This boat ride was one of the toughest for me (and not just me). The good news is on the ride we spotted some dolphins. The bad news is that the boat stopped so people could snorkel with them. I didn’t go in since I wasn’t feeling great although most did. And while I didn’t get sick I was definitely nauseous and had to plug my ears to block out the sounds of others being sick.

    Fortunately we finally did make it to Isabela and after a quick stop at the campsite we went up the Sierra Negra volcano. Unfortunately much of it was closed due to activity so we were only able to do a short hike (although in this heat and humidity that was okay!)

    More snorkelling tomorrow!
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  • Day4

    Floreana of Floreana Island

    March 13, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ☁️ -1 °C

    Day 2 on the island of Floreana began with another snorkel. This time the water was much clearer and we saw a manta ray, many fish, and a few turtles.

    After lunch we had a much needed siesta before taking off for a hike through the highlands. As we hiked up the mountain we saw a few more tortoises while our guide Jimmy told us about the history of the island, which involved 2 German families, cheating, and multiple murders. We also learned that the woman who ran the bar we visited last night was one of the very first settlers on the island. At the top we got an incredible view before making our way down the mountain for our last dinner on Floreana island.Read more

  • Day3


    March 12, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Day 2 in the Galapagos began with a sunrise hike up the highlands for a beautiful view. Then after a quick breakfast we packed up to head into the town of Puerto Ayora and the Charles Darwin Research Centre where we saw lots more giant tortoises.

    We had a local lunch of vegetable soup with popcorn (the Ecuadorian alternative to crackers on soup) and ceviche.

    Then it was a hot walk to the boat that would take us to the Island of Floreana. Floreana is one of the smaller islands of the Galapagos with a population of 100.

    We were greeted at the dock by a group of sea lions and iguanas. After settling in to our guest houses we went for a snorkel. The water was a little murky but we still got to see a sea turtle swim underneath us.

    Finally, before dinner we watched the sunset on the beach.
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  • Day2

    Puerto ayora galapagos

    March 11, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Day 1 on the Galápagos Islands is complete. The day began leaving our hotel in Quito at 4:30 am to catch our flight to the island of Baltra.

    Once we landed in Baltra I immediately noticed how desert like it looked. We took a quick bus ride to the shore where we suddenly have an incredible view of the turquoise seas (actual turquoise seas not my favourite calgon body spray). From there we took a quick boat ride to the port of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. And then from there it was another bus ride to our campsite in the highlands of Santa Cruz.

    We finally arrived at our campsite around 11:30 am. What’s awesome about this trip is that our tents are already set up for us. We had lunch and then headed out to go find giant tortoises.

    And we found the giant tortoises! And hey we’re giant! And we also saw them mating. And learned a lurker but about the evolution of how they came to be. Land tortoises from Chile rode the currents up to the Galápagos Islands on branched and such and when they got here they had lots to eat and no predators so they were able to get big because they didnt need to hide from their predators.
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  • Day1

    Climbing up Old Town

    March 10, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    I’ve had a very full day in Quito - mostly wandering around the Old Town. I began by hiking up to see the Panecillo, a 200 metre high hill with a statue of Madonna on the top - in which you can climb. It was a hike of mostly stairs so it was pretty brutal but the view was worth it and then I took a $2 taxi down the hill.

    From there I walked uphill to the Basilica del Vito nacional. It was one of the biggest churches I’ve ever seen. First I explored the sanctuary and then I did he climb up the clock tower and the spire. Again, lots of stairs some of which were incredibly narrow. But again the view was worth. What was neat too is that the Basilica and the Panecillo are on opposite ends of the town so I was able to see each from each end. I also stopped at the cafe which is halfway up the clock tower for some lunch. Food wasn’t great but the view was and it was good to get some energy to climb the rest. After my two climbs I was ready to take a couple hours back at the hotel to recharge myself, and my phone.

    After some rest and relaxation I headed to the Parque el Elido just a 10 min walk down the road from my hotel. In this park there are lots of markets and food stands, some cool statues. A couple playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment and lots of people. After a little wandering I sat down by a tree to read.

    Now I’m back at my hotel and have met my roommate Alex from Germany and will meet the rest of my tour mates in a couple hours.
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  • Day0

    Kicking Back in Quito

    March 9, 2018 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    I have safely arrived at my hotel in Quito after a full day of travel. But I can’t complain about the seats I got on my Copa Airlines flight. For my 5 hour flight to Panama City I was in the exit row, then for my 2 hour flight to Quito I was in the first row of coach. Both seats provided ample leg room.

    It was about an hour long taxi ride from the airport to the hotel but it was a picturesque sunset drive through the mountains and I got to practice my spanish with my driver who told me lots about Quito. For example, i didn’t know it was such a big city of 2 million people and 3 universities. After arriving at the hotel I went for a quick bite of pizza and I could definitely tell this is a student town with lots of 20 somethings roaming the streets. This was nice to see since it’s always a bit nerve racking going out on my own in a new city but I definitely felt safe with so many people out.

    I can’t wait to explore the city tomorrow since my drive was so beautiful. Then tomorrow night I’ll meet up with my tour before heading off to the Galapagos the next morning!
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