My Arrival in Galapagos (or how I came to be riding with the airline crew of AeroGal)

Puerto Ayora Travel Blog

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Getting on the plane to go to the Galapagos

After not a small amount of turbulence, we land in the middle of what looks like a desert with cool cactus trees.  After landing on the island of Baltra, I have to take a bus across the tiny island (of course, putting the airport  the other side of the island would make too much sense), take a ferry to Santa Cruz, the island where my town Puerto Ayora is.  There, I will take a $4 cab ride across the island to my homestay, whose address is "halfway down the block from the mechanic Gallardo."  I can see directions are going to be interesting in Puerto Ayora.  The town of Puerto Ayora has about 15-20k people, depending who you're talking to, but addresses are still given in relation to landmarks or people.

yay, we made it!
  So my address is simply "la casa de Carlos Arturo".  And my more detatiled address is: the house of Carlos Arturo next to the Mechanic Gallardo. 


After landing, I'm pretty stoked to stop flying and finally be able to take more than a few steps without losing my breath.  I get through immigration and then head for the buses.  All the gringos are congregating outside the airport meeting their tours and such and here I go...like a local and jump onto a bus with people already in it (local people).  Of course as the logic in these parts go, the gringos get on to other bus about half an hour later and take off while we're still sitting around.  No one in the bus is wondering why we are still waiting to leave, much less complaining.

Welcome to the Galapagos!
  Whatevers.  We finally leave.  The ride is about 10 minutes long through desert.  The islands are such that the leeward side is incredibly dry while the windward side is (not surprisingly) quite lush.  We get to the tiny dock and jump into the ferry for a 5-minutes trip across the little canal.  The trip costs $1.  While admiring the amazing landscape, it is here I realize that wait, I don't have  my suitcase.  So, we get to the other side and I kind of nervously / dumbfoundedly say: I forgot my suitcase at the airport.  The ferry guy looks at me with a mix of "wow, that's really stupid" and "wow, that's a really bad accent you have."  Nonetheless, I jump back on the boat anad head back over to the island of Baltra.
Canal between the islands of Santa Cruz and Baltra, where I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to pick up my suitcase.
 

The problem is that the buses to and from the airport have stopped running because there are only a few flights per day.  Great.  So, I get off and there's a truck unloading and loading things.  I chat with the guys there and they look at me sympathetically and curiously. After all the heavy lifting has finished, they tell me that they can take me to and from the airport for $10 which is kind of a lot of money but not unreasonable ...not to mention, it wasn't really the time to be economical.  So me and some dude jump into the truck and take off.  On the way (which is the one road on the island), we run into the bus carrying all the airport workers on their way home.  We stop the bus, I jump out to check if they are carrying my suitcase.

Driveway to my homestay
  Amazingly, they are.  So, the dude tells me to ride the bus with them and I turn right back around to head to the ferry without having to pay the $10 and with  my suitcase. 

So here I am sitting on the ferry and a bus with the whole crew of the local airline AeroGal.  I not only don't have to pay for the bus to Puerto Ayora, but the workers' shuttle drops me off in front of a driveway with about 5 houses connected to it.  One of the friendly crew points generally to all the houses and says, there is Carlos Arturo's house.  I walk towards the driveway and ask a random person on the street who actually knows which house is Carlos Arturo's.  After being here for a few days, it is not surprising that this is the case.

Front door of my house and my room with the balcony above.
  This house is like the hangout place for all people under 30 or at least like-minded.  I wander in through the open screen door and have to shout a couple of times to get anyone's attention.  Gabriela,  the 23-year-old daughter is home with her 8-month old son, Mattias, a cute, chubby baby who at first strikes me as strange looking but grows on me. I'm not sure who the father is and probably will never know.  In any case, it seems as though if you're over the age of 23, you probably have about a 50% chance of having 1-3 kids already. 

elpirato says:
hi.
please. tell for me
what price in month ?
do you have any contacts?
Posted on: Jan 30, 2010
aswold says:
Very interesting, you're lucky they had your suitcase!
Posted on: Apr 07, 2008
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Getting on the plane to go to the …
Getting on the plane to go to the…
yay, we made it!
yay, we made it!
Welcome to the Galapagos!
Welcome to the Galapagos!
Canal between the islands of Santa…
Canal between the islands of Sant…
Driveway to my homestay
Driveway to my homestay
Front door of my house and my room…
Front door of my house and my roo…
Puerto Ayora
photo by: timbo