Galapagos Islands (PTO Ayora)

Woke up quite early and well before the alarm went off to the gentle rocking of Sagitta with Pheebs in the top bunk! (I had the luxury of the bottom double bunk!) We got up and went to the dinning room for breakfast. After which our guide Alex told us he was not feeling too good and that we would be getting another guide for the rest of our trip (which was a shame as he was a particularly good one!) Anyhow we got our day packs sorted and were then transported to the port via dingy where we met our new guide Rafiel (who was also good but had a tendency to overload you with useful information) . We were then taken to the Darwin Research Station and shown giant tortoises (who were amazing) and various others (including the legendary Lonesome George!) We also saw baby tortoises of various ages and some Land Iguanas. After that we wandered back to town and met the rest of the group. We were then taken to Angemyer Point for lunch which was another 3 course meal!. After that we were taken by bus to the highlands and taken to a tortoise area where there were some mating tortoises! And a big pond with lots soaking and basking in the sun. it was pretty amazing to watch them moving slowly around and checking us out as we were checking them out! It is quite amazing to know that some are over a 100 to 150 years old and have been through two world wars! (and everything else). We spent a bit of time checking them out before heading back too the bus and PTO Ayora. From there we headed back to the boat to have a quick snack and a beer. We then had a shower in preparation for dinner. At 7pm the dinner bell rang and we ate downstairs around 2 different tables. After which we chilled out on deck watching the visiting Pelicans sitting on various parts of the boat. This evening was going to be our night passage to Isla Espanola (Hood) which commenced at 10pm!

Quito (Old Town) to Galapagos Islands

The alarm woke us up and we got our things sorted before heading downstairs for our private taxi. The taxi then proceeded to drive like a maniac to the airport (and which most drivers drive like idiots anyway). However as the fare was $5 and we did not have any change (nor did the driver) I had to run inside to get a bottle of water in order to pay the exact fare! Anyway we found the representative of the boat who gave us the necessary paperwork to enter the Galapagos and checked our stuff in. After that we waited for the plane in the waiting lounge. The flight did not take that long and before we knew it we had arrived on the world famous islands (and at sea level!) We gladly sucked in the sea level air which was especially good after spending a couple of weeks at altitude! We got through the red tape at the Baltra Airport met our guide and eventually made it to the boat. After lunch on board the boat moved to Isla Seymour where we disembarked the boat via dingy to the island for a walk around seeing the wild life (which was in abundance and did not seem to mind at looking at them and taking photos). We saw Frigate birds, Land Iguanas*, Sea lions, Gulls, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea iguanas and much more. The little island was very hot and there was little shade from the blazing sun. An hour and a half later we made it back to the dingy and back to the ship. From there we set sail for PTO Agora which was a 5 hour trip under steam. After a shower the dinner bell was rung and we ventured downstairs. However not everyone was feeling good as many were attempting to gain their sealers! (and some did not even make it to the toilet so the decks have to be swabbed). After dinner we chilled for a while before we eventually made it to Port Angora. Once we had anchored things settled down and we had a quick coffee before heading to bed (with the gentle rocking of the boat!)

Quito (Old Town)

Got up and had breakfast at the hotel (once we had realised it was with the room!) Not long after Pheebs ate the eggs she ran off feeling unwell! Finished my breakfast and chatted to the Americans who were sat next to me. After some lengthy conversations I checked on Pheebs who was lying in bed feeling sick. After a while she recovered and we went for a long walk to the bakery to get some bread and cake for lunch. We then got a taxi to the Parque La Coolina where we visited the Jardin Botanico which was very pleasant wandering around and admiring plants. From there we walked to the Vivcium and saw snakes and reptiles, but as it was quite hot we left. We hailed a cab back to the Grand Plaza. There we walked to the San Francisco Plaza for a much needed drink. In the Plaza someone was flying a remote controlled Helicopter which drew a crowd. After that we wandered back to the hotel and chilled out. Following that we went out to dinner at Café del Fraile. The food was good but service a little slow! (however that seems to be the case everywhere in Ecuador!). After that we walked back to the hotel where we had to wait 15 minutes before someone let us into the hotel! (and that was 8pm!). It also happened the previous night but that was at 10pm and was quicker) Anyway we read until time for bed.

Quito (Old Town)

Got up and had a sort of shower once we had worked out how it worked! After that we had to check our bank balance after we failed to get money from the ATM last night. Luckily Pheebs Barclaycard worked! We managed to find a internet café to check things out (which were ok so it must be our cards that do not work in the old town!) After that we found a place to have breakfast. After that we headed back to the hotel to do our absolutions! Then we went out to the Grand Palace to watch the changing of the guard which included a presidential appearance! The ceremony lasted 30 minutes and included men with spears, swords and horseback mounted soldiers.

After that spectacle we did the old town tour of the city which included some visit to some very elaborate churches (and one that contained a ton and a half of gold). After that we headed back to the San Francisco Plaza for lunch. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to chill for a while. By the time we chilled for the afternoon it was dinner time so we headed to the Vista Bermosa. The views inside are good and the view from the roof is even better but a little chilly. The dinner portions are huge and we both failed to consume all of it. After that we took some nightime photos before heading back to the hotel to sleep.