LANDED IN BALTRA......WOO HOO AM IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS :D
Galapagos Islands Travel Blog› entry 5 of 22 › view all entries
(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.
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”.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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