Exploring Isabela Island in the Galapagos, Ecuador

Isabela Island in the GalapagosAt the main dock in Puerto Ayora, we took a water taxi to board our ferry to Isabela Island. We were surprised to find the boat, Gaby, was barely larger than the small boat that took us scuba diving the day prior. The boat was completely full with every inch of space occupied by bodies. They handed out life jackets to each passenger and we headed out to sea. About thirty minutes into the two hour journey, the captain slowed down the engines with a concerned look on his face. Galapagos inter island ferry engine repairAfter turning off the engines, he motioned for the passengers sitting along the back to move and he began to inspect one of the three engines. After a ten minute inspection, we noticed that the caption appeared to be changing filters. He put the engine back together and we again headed towards Isabela. About twenty minutes later, a different engine began smoking. Continue reading

Still Touring the Galapagos, Ecuador

Traveling around the world, Yacht Darwin in the GalapagosOur five day tour of the Galapagos Islands onboard Darwin Yacht started out with a bang! (Click here if you missed the first half of Touring the Galapagos) The fun continued with several more stops:

Day 3 Continued: Espanola

After lunch, Darwin motored to the other side of Espanola for our afternoon adventure. Along the way, we spotted a huge pod of dolphins and Captain changed our course so we would intersect them. As we became surrounded by the pod of hundreds, several dolphins swam into formation with the bow of the boat. It was amazing to watch them swim and jump out of the water in perfect speed with Darwin.

Albatross colony in the Galapagos IslandsWe made it to Punta Suarez where we went for an afternoon hike. When we landed, we immediately saw a baby sea lion nursing which Billy estimated was only a few days old. We continued on a trail where we found more baby sea lions, marine iguanas, a Galapagos mocking bird, and a Galapagos hawk. But the main attractions were the large colonies of albatrosses and nazca boobies. Nazca Boobies or Masked Boobies giving a rock giftWe sat for quite awhile watching the albatross landing zone. Several of the young birds were doing a courting dance where they find their mate for life (a process Billy said would take several months). We also witnessed the nazca boobies courtship where the males present rocks as gifts to his partner for life. It was amazing to stand only Continue reading

Touring the Galapagos, Ecuador

Flying over volcano to the Galapagos IslandsWe arrived in Quito‘s airport bright and early for our 8:00 flight to the Galapagos. Thankful the tourist agent gave a complete description of the special process because signs were lacking, we got in line for the extra Galapagos check and processing before checking-in with the airline. The two flights on LAN were uneventful but it made us wonder if stopping in Quito was necessary. There are rarely direct flights from Quito to the Galapagos and upon arriving in the Galapagos we saw that any traveler could just show up, make their way to town, and grab a hostel (contrary to needing a guide for everything as we had heard from family members).

Exiting the airport, we found a tour guide holding a “Darwin Yacht” sign Continue reading

Robbed in Zanzibar

Day 20
We were finally at a beautiful beachfront campsite after the rough drive through Tanzania. Unfortunately we didn’t have any time to enjoy the location because of our packed itinerary. Jojo scheduled us on a ferry to Zanzibar at 9:00 and he promised that our hotel would be even more beautiful then our current location.

imageI think we were all worried that it would take a long time to get to the ferry because of traffic but our guides had a trick up their sleeve. Just after sunrise, we drove down the road to a local ferry that would take us to city center. We said goodbye to Jojo who would be staying with the truck and headed off with Tobi and Nash. We piled on the ferry with the locals for the short ride to the other side. Our group then got into several waiting tuk-tuks that took us a short distance to the Zanzibar ferry. It felt like we were part of The Amazing Race TV show racing through foreign streets not knowing where we were headed! Continue reading