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Day One - Arrival in the Galapagos

The process for catching a flight to Baltra island from Guayaquil is a bit confusing, particularly since I do not speak much Spanish. After some trial and error and a bit of poor advice from some employees, I discovered you have to purchase an INGALA Transit Control Card for $10, at which point they seal your bag to prevent unwanted introductions to the ecosystem, then you can make your way to the check-in area and obtain a boarding pass.

It's equally confusing on the other end and more than a little disorganized. Fortunately, I ran into a guy from Israel who was very helpful and speaks Spanish fluently. After payng the $100 Galapagos National Park entrance fee and collecting my bag, we made our way to the buses only to find the first batch were all either full or idle. He tells me this is not uncommon.We wait for about 30 minutes before another group of buses come by and make our way toward the ferry. The ferry costs $0.80 and is a very short ride over to Santa Cruz island, where many more buses and taxis await new visitors. We found a bus and then ride about 40 minutes to Puerto Arroyo, the main port and town on Santa Cruz.

Speedboat Ride
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Baby Sea Lion with Mother
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Sunset on San Crisotbal
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Having missed the first group of buses at the start, I arrived at Puerto Arroyo too late for the speed boats that travel to San Cristobal island each day at 2:00pm. I was lucky, however, as I stumbled across a boat service that had a boat under repair and would be delivering it to San Cristobal later that afternoon. I went for a beer and then returned for the most uncomfortable and jarring boat ride of my life. For two hours we zippped across the ocean, bouncing and slamming around, stopping a few times for additional engine repairs, before finally arriving at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal at about 7:00pm. It was a long and tiring journey, but I had finally arrived. As I approached my hotel, I was greeted by a young sea lion nursing on the steps of the lobby. The first indication this would be a truly unique trip, indeed. The hotel provided an impressive view of the port and I enjoyed a few cervezas in the cafe and watched the sunset.


Day Two

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