LANDED IN BALTRA......WOO HOO AM IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS :D

Galapagos Islands Travel Blog

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BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF GI

DAY 3
(BOARDING ON THE XPEDITION)


YEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!! I AM HERE! I AM FINALLY HERE! MY DREAM IS HALF WAY FULLFILLED! 

 

It was a pleasant flight from Guayaquil to Baltra.  I slept to whole entire 2hrs flight. I woke up this in the nick time to take photos flying over Baltra and North Seymour. I saw a sand bank between it. the water was parts of turquoise and blue.

OUR PLANE
It was a clear day in paradise.

 

As soon as we exited off the plane, a wall of humid heat slaps me on the face. A huge climate difference from Quito, it was cloudy and cool. All 90 of us walked over to immigration we all had our own card on the islands to ID us.

 

After 30min in line inside a wooden hut with open windows, we all jumped on a bus to take us on the zodiac (Mercedes Benz of rubber boats) boat to the Celebrity Xpedition ship. We were greeted with all the naturalists, William, “little” Jorge, Freddy, Manuel, and Jamie. Rogelio arrived on DAY 5.

 

At the dock, we were all welcomed by 4 sea lions sleeping on the benches which was marked “WELCOME TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS”.

TAKING THE ZODIACS TO THE BOAT
it sure was a nice welcome. We all took photos like we will never see a sea lion again. I think I took about 20 photos HAHAHAHA.  They are so cute, 4 females.

 

William reminded us not to touch the sea lions and to keep our distance. They live here. They had the right of way. Getting bitten by a sea lion before you start a trip is not a good way to go :)

 

Mum and I were excited.  We saw more sea lions under the dock some mocha color and dark color, all sleeping and being lazy. I WANT TO BE A SEA LION. NO BILLS, NO CLOTHES, NO BILLS, NO SHOES, NO BILLS….HAHAHAHAHA.

 

William was on my zodiac. He briefly talked about him and his life in the Galapagos Islands. He calls himself and the others “NATURALISTS” not tour guides.

THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
He like the others are born and raised in the Galapagos Islands. It is a requirement to be a Galapagos naturalists.  He has been with the company for over 20 years.  He and his family still lives in the Galapagos. All the naturalists live in Santa Cruz island near Baltra. There are 15,000 inhabitants living in Santa Cruz island. I also explained how to exit and enter  the boat safely. They use a “Galapagos hand shake” which is hand o forearm grip. Better to balance and grip without breaking a wrist.

 

Mum and I took photos of each other and the Xpedition approaching us.  The wind felt good on my face. Eduardo was our zodiac driver. There was an ice chest of bottled water already for us for the taking.  WOW it was humid.

 

WOW THAT IS ONE SMALL BOAT.

THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
We all entered on the aft of the boat.  There were faucets as well to wash off the sand on our feet. As soon as we removed our life jackets, we were greeted by Juan; he was carrying a silver platter of COLD ROLLED UP TOWELS to refresh us with.  WOW THAT’S SPOILED :P

 

“Big” Jorge, the cruise director welcomed us on board. He announced the routine when you enter the Xpedition. That everytime we get back on the ship, we must check in and sanitize with the hand sanitizer on the wall to prevent germs and colds during our adventure. It is suggested. I believe in hand sanitizers.

 

Mum and I went to our cabin. It was a good size cabin. ROOM 419 it is bigger than what we were normally used to. We were on DECK 4, the boat goes up to DECK 6, which is the spa, gym and Jacuzzi.

ME :)
I was use to the BIG BOATS like the Royal Caribbean “voyager of the seas” which has 16 decks. TOO MUCH BOAT FOR MELANIE :) the specs on the Xpedition is at the END of the blog.

 

After settling in, we went to have lunch and then have an “afternoon briefing” for today’s activities. The food was great. I took photos of our first meal. Dessert of course, cheesecake, chocolate cake, jello,  cream puffs, fruit bowls YUMMY :D there was tilapia, steak strips, rice, cheese plate and various salads and some traditional Ecuadorian side dishes.  In the afternoon we will be heading out North Seymour, to see sea lions and hopefully other wildlife. I hope to see whales and dolphins.

 


Also known as South Seymour, Baltra is a small flat island located near the center of the Galapagos.
THE XPEDITION
It was created by Geological uplift. The island is very arid and vegetation consists of salt bushes, prickly pear cactus and palo santo trees.



During World War II Baltra was established as a US Air Force Base. Crews stationed at Baltra patrolled the Pacific for enemy submarines as well as providing protection for the Panama Canal. After the war the facilities were given to the government of Ecuador. Today the island continues as an official Ecuadorian military base. The foundations and other remains of the US base can still be seen as you cross the island.



Until 1986, Baltra Airport was the only airport serving the Galápagos. Now there are two airports which receive flights from the continent, the other located on San Cristóbal Island. Private planes flying to Galapagos must fly to Baltra as it is the only airport with facilities for planes overnight.



Arriving into Baltra all visitors are immediately transported by bus to one of two docks.
BOAT FOOD
The first dock is located in a small bay where the boats cruising Galapagos await passengers. The second is a ferry dock which connects Baltra to the island of Santa Cruz.



During the 1940s scientists decided to move 70 of Baltra's Land Iguanas to the neighboring North Seymour Island as part of an experiment. This move had unexpected results for during the military occupation of Baltra in World War II, the native iguanas became extinct on the island. During the 1980s iguanas from North Seymour were brought to the Charles Darwin Research Station as part of a breeding and repopulation project and in the 1990s land iguanas were reintroduced to Baltra. As of 1997 scientists counted 97 iguanas living on Baltra 13 of which were born on the islands.



In 2007 and 2008 the Baltra airport is being remodeled to include additional restaurants, shops and an improved visitor area.



WOO HOO, SO FAR THIS ADVANTURE IS STARTING ON THE RIGHT FOOT……



WILDLIFE: 4-10 SEA LIONS

PEOPLE WITH WHITE LEGS: 90 HAHAHAHA


mellemel8 says:
about 2hrs.
Posted on: Apr 22, 2009
TRE69 says:
I so wanna go too!!!:P
Posted on: May 15, 2008
Devika1985 says:
I soooooooo wish I was there
Posted on: May 14, 2008
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BIRDS EYE VIEW OF GI
BIRD'S EYE VIEW OF GI
OUR PLANE
OUR PLANE
TAKING THE ZODIACS TO THE BOAT
TAKING THE ZODIACS TO THE BOAT
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
ME :)
ME :)
THE XPEDITION
THE XPEDITION
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BALTRA AIRPORT
BALTRA AIRPORT
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE
WELCOMING COMMITTEE
WELCOMING COMMITTEE
SEA LION UNDER THE DOCK
SEA LION UNDER THE DOCK
SEA LIONS UNDER THE DOCK
SEA LIONS UNDER THE DOCK
ALL ABOARD
ALL ABOARD
WE ARE EXCITED AND READY
WE ARE EXCITED AND READY
DAPHANE MAJOR AND DAPHANE MINOR
DAPHANE MAJOR AND DAPHANE MINOR
OUR BOAT
OUR BOAT
THE XPEDITION
THE XPEDITION
THE ZODIACS
THE ZODIACS
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
BOAT FOOD
OUR CABIN
OUR CABIN
Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn