The first thing that struck me about Galapagos was the distance.
The archipelago is a 2 hour flight from mainland Ecuador. But not only that, vast distances separate the islands from each other. On a map, they look all cozy, nestling against each other, but there were nights our luxury cruise trip around the Galapagos when we would sail for 10 hours.
The second thing that struck me about Galapagos? Blue-footed boobies can be quite possibly the cutest bird in all bird kingdom.
And the third discovery ? How rough the sea around Galapagos can be and how I don’t like boats very much.
The first night on the boat was the worst. Fresh from the mainland, I mistimed taking the seasickness pill and woke up at 2 am. The boat was rocking back and forth and we felt moments of weightlessness – which sent me hurling my stomach content into the sink. I spent the remaining of the night in the bathroom, alternating between retching, trying to sleep with my head next to the sink, and wondering how I were going to survive the next 7 nights.
But with the help of drugs (thank goodness I stocked up before we left), survived I did. Drugs can be wonderful.
The next 7 days were filled with drug-aided bliss of internet-free relaxation, wildlife watching, and eating.
On our last day, we were scheduled to be on our flight back to Quito at noon. Our guide woke us up at 5:30 in the morning and hustled us off the yacht to the pangas (small motor boat) to visit some land iguana colony. Then a rushed breakfast on an already moving boat back to Puerto Ayora, the main port.
This last 2 hour stretch was rougher than any of us has ever experienced. The boat was tossed and turned. It was rolling back and forth, up and down, side to side. Even Jack, who seemed to be immune to effect of the moving boat up until this point, spent the journey sleeping the nausea off.
A whirlwind of travels in multiple vehicles then ensued.
Off the yacht to the pangas to the port. Then an hour bus ride to yet another port. Then back to pangas to cross the strait. Then back onto a bus to the airport. Then a 3 hour flight to Quito, followed by a taxi ride to our hostel. Maybe there were more – I’ve lost count.
Meanwhile we seemed to have traded our seasickness with its land version. Bouts of nausea hit us at random times while walking or sitting. We sway and stumble like drunks. And we’re exhausted. We returned to our hostel in Quito after dinner and fell asleep right away at 7 pm.
We’ll tell you more about Galapagos, of course: the boobies, the tortoises, and the pampering we received while on the cruise. It’s truly a wonderful and unique place. But first, we have to get the world to stop spinning then we have (yet another) 3 hour journey ahead of us. To Baños, this time.