A Travellerspoint blog

A school day with a difference...

sunny 28 °C

We’re so close to the Equator you could almost touch it...well the same could be almost said about the Sea Turtles we snorkelled with today! Following my earlier dive adventures across at Daphne and Beagle islands I thought I’d seen it all but Isabella true to form held a few of her secrets back. This morning, less than a stone’s throw from where we’ve been staying we were treated to a snorkelling experience like no other which included a sea turtle cleaning station, a school of eagle rays, stingrays, sea lions, blue starfish, a huge puffer fish, coral and countless brightly coloured tropical fish. What a way to start the day!

Ahh the perils of neophrene! Bless him (an American we shared the boat with) as it was his first time wearing a wet suit but perhaps it should have come with some instructions! Now my mum has always told me never to laugh at someone else’s expense. Wise words id say, but when our struggling guest, in the process of extricating himself from his wet suit ended up clouting himself I couldn’t but help smile as most of us divers have made that same schoolboy error...call it a rite of passage my son!

Posted by Rosscopico 10:06 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

To the edge and back...

sunny 35 °C

The only downside to having a seafront bedroom is that you’re constantly thinking that someone has left the tap on, making you want to go to the bathroom all the time. That aside, we woke to yet another burrrrrriful day in Ecuador! Before heading out on our tour we briefly popped into the restaurant for a bite to eat only to find that the Gannets had been there before us and cleaned the place out...confused? The delightful term ‘Gannets’ is a little phrase we’ve given to the tour boat tourists who move about the island en masse...something akin to a flash mob! After picking through what was left from that tornado we meet Alfredo our local guide (Galapagos Alternative) and headed north to see one of the islands 5 amazing Volcano craters (Sierra Negra – 1370m). Three hours later and standing on the rim of the enormous crater one couldn’t but truly appreciate the awesome power of the planet especially having earlier driven through the lava fields. According to our guide this was the largest active volcano crater in the world which last erupted in 2009......at this point I did try and push all thoughts of inviting Leigh to the edge out of my mind as our life insurance only covers ‘accidental death’ (best read the small print in future)! Following a great lunch at one of the local farms we returned back to our lovely B&B (La Casa de Marita) to while away the afternoon under a hot sun! BTW I’d hate for anyone from the UK or Ireland to think that we’re gloating about the weather here but even the Ipad said ‘please take me into the air con’ earlier! *smirk*...and on that note I’ll bid you farewell!

Posted by Rosscopico 12:20 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Isabella.....a women like no other!

sunny 35 °C

As we bade farewell to our lovely B&B on Santa Cruz, the housekeeper gently took me by the arm and said watch out for Isabella....”her charms are notorious and i have no doubt that you will easily succumb to them...many go but few return”! However my dreams of a sultry South American woman complete with a flock of blue boobies was quickly dispatched when Leigh, seeing me come over all dream like, quietly mentioned that Isabella was in fact an island - the largest one in the Galapagos!

Sometimes the best things in life come with a price! I call it life’s little own way of making us appreciate things a little more. The price in this case was a 2 ½ hour boat ride across to the island with 16 passengers in a rather oversized bathtub complete within engines big enough to fly a jumbo jet..they really do like their engines here! (Natalie and Naomi - a little like your journey from Zanzibar from all accounts). As we left the harbour, the flat water quickly transformed into a choppy sea....those once happy faces now turned a shade of green! Being the salty old sea dogs that we are and knowing what was in store we slowly slipped away from the group to watch the fireworks! Leigh, the kind hearted soul that she is, forbade me from videoing this moment! Mental note: the sea crossing is best made early in the morning when the sea is at its calmest....not at 2pm! After landing we were subjected to another customs check....which consisted of touching the exterior of our bags.....kind of like a ‘guess who’ TV show! Being the ex altar boy that I am, I sincerely hoped that my angel like expression wouldn’t betray the fact that I had 3 Iguana’s and a Hammerhead shark tucked away inside Leigh’s rucksack unknown to her.

In closing, Joseline wasn’t far of the mark as sitting here sharing the sunset with Leigh, complete with an ice cold beer, has got to be the next best thing to heaven!

Posted by Rosscopico 12:18 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

The land that time forgot

sunny 32 °C

And now for one of the best kept secrets.....the Galapagos Islands are without a doubt one of the nicest places in the world that we have ever had the good fortune to visit! For starters, the food is an absolute treat....we haven’t seen sight or sound of a ham and cheese sandwich since we arrived! Then there’s the weather....clear blue skies....a gentle sea breeze...what more can an Irish man ask for apart from more sunscreen. No matter how hard i try we Irish guys only come in 2 colours white or lobster red.....any photos to the contrary have been cleverly edited using photoshop by Leigh! Heck if they can do it for the supermodels they can darn well do it for me too! By the way did i mention the people? With barely a smattering of Spanish we have been bowled over by how welcoming, friendly and helpful the locals are. Their attitude to conservation is mind blowing and we could all learn a lesson or two from what they are doing here! Coming to the Galapagos was an opportunity for us to see and appreciate the theory of evolution as put forward by Darwin in 1835 and has also served as a stark reminder of the fragility of the world we live in as we were fortunate enough to see ‘Lonesome George’, the last remaining ‘pinto’ tortoise on the planet – extinction!

Posted by Rosscopico 17:27 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Things not to tell your wife/ girlfriend

sunny 34 °C

I should have known better but with such an amazing spectacle on display I couldn’t help myself as I turned to Leigh and blurted out that I absolutely loved Boobies! Surrounded by so many at one time what was a guy to say but surprisingly enough Leigh was in total agreement with me on this one! Before going any further perhaps I should take a moment to point out that Boobies are the indigenous birds here....blessed with striking blue webbed feet which they literally dance or bob along to when mating...so what exactly were you thinking?

Posted by Rosscopico 17:32 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

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