Galapagos Islands
Islas Galapagos
Galapagos Inseln

Position around: 0° 30' S  -  90° 20' W

Pacific Ocean

Until april in 2008 I traveled 54 times around the sun together with our planet earth. It might be 47 years ago, that I watched a report about the Galapagos Islands in TV. As far as I remember, a very famous German zoologist Prof. Grzimek did that report. I saw an iguana (I call them dragons) coming slowly from behind a large rock. Standing there in half profile. That picture from that moment on was fixed in my brain. And now, I saw these famous creatures in real life.

Please mind, I call them dragons, but these animals are absolutly hamless!

                Drache                                                                                   Dragon               Drache                                                                                      

(1) John C. Kricher, Galapagos, 2002, Smithsonian Institution Press Washington & London , ISBN 1-58834-041-4
(2) NN, Independent traveler Galapagos handbook, Flying Fish Publication Guayaquil, first edition December 2000 , ISBN 9978-41-353-7
(3) Andy Swash, Rob Still, Birds, mammals, & Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands,  Yale University Press New Haven and London, ISBN 0-300-08864-7
(4) Rob Rachowiecki, Danny Palmerlee, Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, Lonely Planet Publications Melbourne-Oakland-London-Paris, 6th edition August 2003, ISBN 1-74059-464-9
(5) Carmen Rohrbach, Inseln aus Feuer und Meer - Galapagos-Archipel der zahmen Tiere, National Geographics Adventure Press, 5. Auflage November 2003, ISBN 3-89405-027-6
(6) Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) Scale 1:500000, International Travel Map 308, ITMB Publishing LTD. 1998, ISBN 155341559-0
(7) Ecuador 1:1000000, Berndtson Map, ISBN 3-89707-053-7
(8) Wolfgang Bittmann, Brigitte Fugger, Galapagos, Tecklenborg Verlag Steinfurt 2007, 5. Auflage, ISBN 3-934427-77-4

Thursday, October 25th 2007

The  Spanish word gálapago stands for tortoise or Schildkroete (the German name). The islands which I will visit are named after the "gálapago". I am on the way to Ecuador, to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Munich's fast train (S-Bahn) are on strike, so I choose to take a taxi to go to the airport. That was a good choice because it was more convenient. I need to go from Munich to Madrid and then to Quito. In Quito I have to stay one night and will continue the next day to Baltra airport on Galapagos.

It takes two hours or so to go to Madrid and then additional eleven hours to go to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Landing in Quito, the first I saw, was a little boy who played with a ball inside a big aircraft-hangar close to the runway. By the way, during the approach around Quito there have been a lot of cumulonimbus up to 30000feet. As usual for the most countries, it was necessary to fill out some immigration paperwork. That was not much but the paperwork was provided in Spanish only. My dictionary worked well. The immigration it self was without any problems. With a taxi I drove for about $10 to my hotel. Later on at the hotel I met Willi, the manager from the travel agency which organized the hotels and also the boat tour around the islands.

It is a very nice custom, the rooms in the hotels do not have numbers, they have names. Also, in the hotel I to open the case which contains my camera and lenses. The case is water-proved. Remember that for later in this report, I am now on about 3000m altitude (about 10000feet).

By the way, I was very pleased with Willi's organization. He is  from Switzerland and is running a travel agency in Quito, Ecuador. Please visit Positiv Turismo or mosaikoequador.

Friday, October 26th 2007

Getting up early, because the flight to Baltra is early in the morning. I took a taxi to the airport, without breakfast. The first action Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruzat the airport was the special check of the luggage. I do not mean the usual security check. All people who go to Galapagos, need a special luggage check. It is checked, that nobody brings plants, animals or other organic material onto the islands. Such unwanted material can influence the ecological balance on Galapagos Islands. ThatTwo Way Road .... such things had happen in the past, please refer to (1). The flight was about 2 hours and 30 minutes via Guayaquill.

The airport on Baltra is like a little landing site. There is a landing stripe and a few huts. A lot of these huts outside the airport are souvenir shops. Baltra is a small island north of Isla Santa Cruz. The House in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruzairport on Baltra was introduce long time ago as a military base. Baltra belongs to the Ecuadorian army, not to the Galapagos National Park (2).

After leaving the aircraft, the first action was a carry-on luggage inspection. Nobody should bring food out of the aircraft. The next action was paying the Galapagos National Park fee of $100 (October 2007). Then I tried to open my water proofed case to have my camera ready. I was unable to open the case. Do you remember? I open the case in Quito on 3000m altitude. Now I was on sea level. The outside air pressure was so big, that I was unable to open the case. Now I understood the reason for this build-in compensation vent. I open the vent, it makes a noise and I was able to open the case. Now the luggage was placed under a roof and then everybody could take his luggage. In Quito and also here in Baltra every luggage was checked by an airport employee Brown Pelicanthat nobody took the wrong case out.

The most people coming to Galapagos Islands are going on a boot tour immediately after arriving. I did not want to do so. After more then half a day on aircrafts and six or seven hours in time difference I was very unsure to stand this. Frigate BirdIt was a very good idea to stay a few days before and after the boot tour in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz.

Baltra and Isla Santa Cruz are separated by a small canal. The next business was to go to Puerto Ayora. There is a free bus from the airport to the canal and from the airport to the dock.  The most boot tours start at the dock. I choose the bus to "El Cannal". The other bus by the way is named "El Muelle".  After a short ride I arrive at the canal (Canal de Itabaca). A little ferry was waiting. I put my luggage on the roof of the ferry and went Police Station Puerto Ayora, back yardinto the boot. Under some circumstances the ride costs 50cent sometimes 80cent. I did not find out why these difference. In (2) it is described to grab a live jacket. That was not necessary anymore. Also (2) talks about some aggressive people. I did not encounter aggressive people, I always find friendly people. Even Police Station in Puerto Ayora and the dragonsthe people tried to speak English. However, it is always a good idea to have a few Spanish expressions ready for use.

At Isla Santa Cruz I headed to the next bus. I already had the ticket which was sold at the airport. One crazy taxi driver wanted me to believe that the next bus is going in one hour. He told a lie. The bus was ready to go in a few minutes. Some days later I had an other bad experience with a taxi driver, he returned the wrong change and "escaped".

After one hour bus ride, I arrived in Puerto Ayora. The friendly bus driver stopped directly in front of my hotel. The hotel seems to be very new. It has a nice flavor. It is about noon now. After having a shower I was ready to explore Puerto Ayora.

The first animals I saw was a brown pelican and a frigate bird. Both birds are very large in size. Whereas the frigate bird is always a very excellent flyer. In the back yard of the local police station I found a lot of broken motor bikes and the first dragons. My first impression was, these dragons are made out of plastic and placed there like garden gnomes. But no, these dragons are alive!

Later on it was time to have something to eat. The restaurant was good, but the service was poor and the prices to high. But that I realized a few days later. The first day on Galapagos comes to the end.

Saturday, October 27th 2007

It is cloudy but warm. The breakfast in the hotel is very good. There is no buffet, everything is served at the table.  They have Dragon at Darvin Station on the dockbread, rolls, very good juice, fruits, yoghurt, milk and coffee, cheese, sausage and more.

It is a short walk from the hotel to Darwin Station. A lot of souvenir shops are located on the way to Darwin Station. The souvenirs mostly are not nice done (for my opinion). It is not recommend to buy. However, there have been two may be three shops which provide well done artwork. At the main road was a shop which sold large well done pictures about Galapagos landscapes and animals. An other shop more close to Darwin Station sold Naughty bird in Darvin Stationa wide palette of well done art. I guess a German runs that shop. All the other souvenir shops disappointed me.

Arriving at the Darwin Station, I found out, there is a way around to walk. Also it is possible to go to the little dock. Some dragons and a great blue herons are there. On the round way through the Darwin Station very young tortoise in Darvin Stationthere are a lot of naughty small birds, many tortoise and a few large dragons. These dragons in Darwin Station are the largest I have seen on Galapagos. I could walk through the tortoise terrain, close to the amazing large animals. In (1) is mentioned that Darwin called them "These Great electric wiringMonsters". I do not think, tortoises are "monsters". May be Darwin called the tortoise monsters in the same way as I call the iguanas dragons. I also have seen large tortoises on Ascension. These animals are amazing. They are more afraid about humans then the humans must be afraid about tortoise. However, do not put your fingers close to the tortoise's mouth, the fingers will be cut off.

Later at the day I walked a bit inside Puerto Ayora. There are houses with gardens, restaurants, shops, supermarkets, mechanical workshop etc. Also I have seen such kind of large sport hall and a soccer field. The hall was not completed closed. Between the roof and the walls around was a little gap. A kind of "air condition". An other hall just has a roof, everything else is open. By the way, the electric wiring is done a bit on a lazyRestaurant way (see picture above).

Later on I found a nice cafe close to a lagoon. This cafe was different to others. It owns a gecko which lives behind a large wall-clock inside the cafe. This gecko is responsible to keep the cafe free of flies. Also there was a library upstairs in this cafe. However, they had the best chocolate-cake on Galapagos.

Sunday, October 28th 2007

Puerto Ayora fish marketDuring night it was rainy. The sun raised but I could not see the sun due to clouds. Puerto Ayora fish marketIt becomes colder suddenly. A lot of birds are singing, some of them very loud. After breakfast I went down to the fish market. That was the funniest fish market I ever had seen. The fisherman sold the fish. That is very usual. But around where about thirty pelicans waiting for food. The pelicans are well educated, they did not touch the fish to sell, they lined up for the stuff which could not be sold. If a pelican Puerto Ayora fish marketgets such food, other pelicans wanted to have Puerto Ayora fish marketthe same food too. So a fight starts. If one pelican could escape with the food, the frigate birds came out of the air and tried to steel the food. If one frigate bird gets some food other frigate birds also tried to get the food from the frigate bird which has the food. I watched the game for several hours.

Later at the day I returned to the fish market. A sea lion swims around, some fisherman tried to catch fish and a large ray or skate was swimPuerto Ayora fish marketming around. It had a very large tail-thorn.

Tomorrow I will go onto the ship. The boot tour will start. I am a bit unsure, I hope to have nice people on board because with this the tour will successful or fall through. By the way, the tour was successful.

The Boat Tour

The Galapagos are located around the Equator about 1000km west of South America. Galapagos Galapagos Mapbelongs to Ecuador. The surface of all Islands together is about 7900square-km. 96% of the land belongs to the "Galapagos National Park" and 4% of the islands is populated or belongs to the Army (8). A lot information about the history and the geology is found in (1) and in (8). Also a bit in (2), (4) and (5). The names of the islands differ from publication to publication. I use the names stated in the map of (1), where also is found a cross reference to all the different names and a description about the origin of the island names. Due to the sensitive nature, it is not allowed to enter the Galapagos National Park without a licensed guide. The park roles published in the most books about Galapagos must be followed (3), (8).

An organized boat tour is the best and I guess the only way to explore the Galapagos. The people mostly doing it like this: They are flying from all over the world to Baltra, running to the boat, doing the tour 4 or 8 days, running back to the airport and flying home. If you have 10 days of vacation S/Y Angeliqueper year, that might be the best to get an impression. However, the way to do so is more stressful then work. I prefer the relaxed way, I had flown from Munich via Madrid to Quito. I continued the next day to Baltra and stayed three days in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz before I embarked onto the boat. Please refer to the map above. The tour started on Baltra, marked by the blue dot and the blue "X". Then follow the lines, arrows and numbers. All stations on the 8 days tour with S/Y Angelique will be described in brief below. After disembarking the boat, I additional stood three days in Puerto Ayora before I returend to Germany.

S/Y Angelique is a small sailer and power driven boat. It has space for 16 passengers (two on each cabin), the guide, the captain, the chef (he really was famous), the engineer, the "captain of dinghy" and the bar-tender. The chef was famous, because he did the breakfast, lunch and dinner for all passengers in his small kitchen in a way that he easily cold measure with a chef in a very good restaurant. I am very pleased with him.

Monday, October 29th 2007

Getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning, ready to go to the airport. But first, I had a good breakfast. The airport  is the meeting point to start the boot-tour. After breakfast I drove with a pick-up taxi to the canal. It took 30 minutes for about 40km. The driver charged $15. During the drive I saw shipandwaterdifferent landscapes, first dry, then green and then dry again. The ferry charged 80ct this time. The Sealionmost passengers are TAME people who will wake up the airport. The people are very friendly. I am unable to confirm the description about unfriendlines like in (2).

At the airport I meet the guide named Edwin. A very small man but with a real ability to handle different kind of human beings. Also he speaks very well English and has a lot of Crabknowledge about the Galapagos Islands. After having every Angelique passengers together, we took the bus to "El Muelle". As usual on Galapagos, it is necessary to use the dinghy to embark the ship. To do so, I had to pass a few frigatebenches. Usually done for humans to relax. These benches are occupied by sealions, not usable for humans anymore (see pictue above, left).

The first navigation (as Edwin used to say) went to Punta Bowditch. It is located at the north-east cost of Isla Santa Cruz (#1). To my knowledge the point is named after a water supply tour in the 40th which ended up into an accident and failed. Some steal structures remembered to that accident. A lot of crabs and sea birds (frigates, pelicans and boobies) are at Punta Bowditch.

Later in the evening there where sharks around Angelique. The sharks where hunting sealions and pelicans.

By the way, at noon the chef provided an excellent lunch and a very good dinner to night time. He did that every day!

Tuesday, October 30th 2007

After a night navigation the ship arrived at Isla Genovesa (#2). It is cloudy and a bit fresh. Due to the  night navigation, I am not sure whether I did sleep or not. It is noisy and the ship moves in all directions. However, I am feeling well. Many other ships are sea lionthere. Everybody will go onto the island. But fist a good breakfast on our sailer.

Our ship anchors inside an old crater. The island slowly returns down into the sea. However, before the island will return to it's roots, we will visit red footed boobya few interesting animals. Special gulls which are only available on this island, boobies with red feet, sea lions and of cause dragons.

yellow-crowned night-heronThe swallow-tailed gull which is endemic on Galapagos was seen several times. The gulls live together for their whole life. Sea lions are laying at the beach. The poor sea lion pup likes to get milk from the mother. The mother usually did not allow it on the red-billed tropicbirdeasy way. It is not easy to be a sea lion pup on Galapagos. The red footed boobies are available in gray and in white. About 95% of the Galapagos red footed booby population is brown. The yellow-crowned night-heron usually dragon hunts during the night. We have seen that large bird during day time. In the afternoon we saw a very special bird, which flies very fast. It is called red-billed tropicbird. Including tail, the bird a about 1m in length and the wingspan is also about 1m. The bird has very long white tail streamers.  Due to the high speed of that bird, it is extremely difficult to make pictures.

The animals are very close usually. Mainly they are not afraid about the visitors. That is the amazing behavior of the Galapagos animals.  The birds remember me to the behavior of the little nutcrackers in the Olympic State park in the USA. I visit that park in 1988. A lot of these birds where around me and tried to get peanuts out of my hands. Some of the little nutcrackers landed on my fingers and arms.   

Wednesday, October 31th 2007

An other night navigation leads us to Bartolomé. It is a small island close to Santiago (#3). MainlyBartolomé Bartolométhat island is known for it's landscape. Bartolomé is the most visit island in the Galapagos archipelago. There are not much animals. A few lizards, very shy snakes (we have not seen snakes) and a small number of dragons. The live takes place at the cost. There are egg-grounds for sea turtles. Also we have seen galapagos-penguins from our dinghy. Yes, on Galapagos we do have the most northern penguins of the world. Lava shape

Cactus in lava fieldIn the morning we walked up on well prepared steps to get the "picture-postcard view" of Bartolomé. It is a never forgettable view on this famous landscape.

In the afternoon we walked over the island's lava fields. The lava is black. WLava fieldalking over it sometimes sounds like walking over porcelain. A few plants erect out of the lava and lava-gaps. The cold lava shows very bizarre forms. Walking over that lava remembers me on my lava-walk on Ascension (please refer to my Ascension page).

I had a glass of wine with the dinner. The sailer had a strong move. The wine and the movement together forced a sea-sickness. From now on I avoid the wine.

Thursday, November 1st 2007

The seasickness I had yesterday evening after dinner is gone. I am well again. The last nightGreat Blue Heron navigation ends up in Puerto Ayora harbour. There is a light rain. It is breakfast and after Tortoise in Darvin Stationbreakfast we will visit Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. The location now is (#4) on the map above. I explained before, the Darwin Station is located in Puerto Ayora. We will visit Darwin Station and later on during the day we will visit a lava cave and an area which host a lot of large tortoises. For the most travelers this would be the only possibility to buy souvenirs. Some time is reserved for shopping. However, after landing at Puerto Ayora, we saw a nice blue heron, slowly and Puerto Ayora harbourcarefully walking inside the water. Later we additionally saw that large blue heron at the fish market.

First we headed into the direction of Darwin Station. From the landing site we where put into taxis and we drove the short way to Darwin Station. At the stationfree tortoise we did the same walk I had done a few days before. But I had seen Lonesome George now. The last tortoise of his sub-species from Pinta Island. Land tortoises are fantastic animals. Tortoises are well known for their high age (up to much more then 100 years). Our guide was not sure about it. He had spoken about an age of 70 years. Everything about tortoise-age seems to be a guesswork. I do not have any confirmed information about how old a tortoise can be.

free tortoiseWe left the Station and now shopping was on the schedule. I did not what to go shopping. As I stated before, there is a very low number of good souvenir shops only. I preferred to go to the lagoon cafe to have a chocolate cake.

From the meeting point at the harbour we returned to our sailer for lunch. After free tortoises in pondlunch we returned to Puerto Ayora for a bus ride to a lava cave north of Puerto Ayora. Such cave is very impressing. After an other short bus ride, we arrived an area to observe tortoises in there natural environment. The behavior of the animals was different to the behavior of the animals in the Darwin Station. The free tortoises seem to be afraid. The animals sometime completely covered their neck and head. The tortoises in that area are land tortoises. Even they like to sit in water.

We returned to Puerto Ayora and to our sailer. Today we will get a new guide on our ship. The new guide arrived very late. He arrived around midnight and we headed to south.

Friday, November 2nd 2007

Landing at FloreanaWe are in a small bay. The island is called Floreana. That is (#5) on the map above. It is cloudy, the sea is calm. After our good breakfast we did a dinghy ride Letterboxto Floreana. It is the first excursion with our new guide. An old letterbox is located on Floreana. That letterbox belongs to the  mail service out of the beginning of sea voyages. The sailors deposit their mail in such  mailbox and they took mail out to deliver it. That was a nice custom and the only way of communication in the old days of sea voyages. Nowadays such mailbox is for fun. However, I placed a postcard. The delivery of that postcard was Sealion with pupfaster than by regular mail!

The next attraction is located in the underworld. We additional want to visit a lava cave. That cave goes down into the ocean. A scuba diver would be able to go trough that cave into the Pacific. We saw the water. Our guide requested toFlamingo switch off all light and also he requested to stop talking -> timeless infinity, can you imagine......

On the way back the guide took me to a "secret" passage. Everybody else could follow but nobody wanted to do, because the entrance is very small. I had to walk on all four like a dragon.

Pelican over beachNow we had time to swim. I went into the water, swim a while and a sealion came along to say "hello". We always had our lunch on the sailer. It is not allowed to take food onto the Galapagos islands. Water is allowed. After lunch we returned and walked over to a lagoon. At the lagoon we saw flamingos, pink ones. Also white ones should be there. Further on we arrived at a bay. The sand is used by sea-tortoises to lay eggs. A few tortoise have been in the sea but did not come onto the beach. They come out to night only.

We return to the sailer by the dinghy to have dinner.

Saturday, November 3rd 2007

Hood MockingbirdsWe are at Espanola now (#6). The night navigation was a bit sealion puprough. The bay is full of sealions. About 500 or so. We had our fine breakfast and we wait for the dinghy. The captain by the way is doing some repair work at the ship's handrail. He does it very well.

We arrived on the island. A few very naughty birds welcome us, hood mockingbirds. Our guide let us walk along the beach. The sand is white Beach at Espanolaand reflects Lavalizard (female)the sun. I can not walk without shoes due to the hot sand. On my way along the beach I saw many sealions, dragons, lizards  and sea-tortoises. Due to the bright sunlight taking pictures was difficult. I had to manage the high contrasts. Our guide is a bit lazy, he sits in the shadow and watches after the people. He needs to do that because he at the end is responsible and also he has to advice the people if somebody is doing something wrong even if it is happen accidentally. Please see the picture above, the mockingbirds can not read Waved Albatrossbut we can read. It is not allowed to touch the animals. The person "attacked" Dragonby the mockingbirds had slowly to move away. However, the birds where follow him up. I do not remember how he gets rid of the birds. The beach was amazing.

Now we moved on a bit and we arrived at (#7). The point where red-billed tropicbirdwe would be able to observe the albatross. You know albatrosses from Bernhard and Bianca? I have not seen how they perform their landing. It is fantastic to observe the large birds in the air. About 12000 (twelfthousend) Galapagos albatross couples do have their hatchery on Espanola (8). Albatross couples live together the whole life. Their Waved Albatrossbehavior looks very tenderly.

We have been for longer at the albatross place, about 50m or albatrossso above the sea. We could observe many birds flying along the coastline. A large number of these fast red-billed tropic birds flown around. Also boobies and gulls. We went on, passing the blow-hole and returned back to our sailer.

juvenil albatrossI ask the ship's engineer about his engines. He explained the largeDragon main engine. The starter is electrical. Compressed air air is not necessary to start up the engine. It is a small ship. Additional he has to run two generators to provide electricity. The sailer has 120V 60Hz (USA standard) installation.

The day ends as usual with a famous dinner.

Sunday, November 4th 2007

The navigation tonight was short. The sea was calm. We arrived at Santa Fe which is (#8) on the american oystercatchermap above. It is cloudy and a bit fresh. We are in a bay, some other ships are there too. Sealions are crying. These sealions usually lay together peaceful. However, if they hiss to each other they do it like human. Or may be the human hiss like Land Dragonsealions? The island Santa Fe hosts a lot of cactus plants. The rings around the tree trunk give information about the tree's age. The distance between two rings is 25 years as the guide explained. We count the Dragonrings of one cactus and find it is 200 years old. At the coastline we saw an american oystercatcher. The dragons on the island where camouflage. We had problems to find these land dragons. The few we saw are large and beautyfull and naughty (see picture to the upper left). We return to the sailer by the dinghy.

It is time to rearrange the backpack. Tomorrow the cruise is over. But first we areDragon cleaning food going full speed to Plaza Sur (#9). A small island close to Santa Cruz' west coast. A Dragon eats cactus flowerlot of dragons where out. These dragons eating cactus leaves or cactus flowers. As they also do on Santa Fe. First the dragons clean the leaves from thorns then they eat it. To clean the dragons fix the leave or the flower with one of their front hands. The other hand skims over the leave or the flower several times. After that procedure the thorns mostly gone. The dragon can eat. It is amazing to observe the little dragons doing that cleaning.

Now we returned back to the sailer for dinner, the last dinner on Angelique. 

Monday, November 5th 2007

Frigate bird (male)Our sailer now anchored close to Seymour which is (#10) in the map above. We need to get up very early in the morning. We will visit Seymour before breakfast. My backpack already is packed. We should find dragons but it seems they are onFrigate bird (female) strike. We have not found dragons but a lot of frigate birds, sealions and boobies. These boobies do have blue feet. We walked over the island. It is a pity, the frigate birds have been fare away and mostly behind bushes. The males do have this red balloon, showing that they are Frigate birdssearching for a female. We walked around the small island and returned to our sailer the last time to have breakfast.

During our breakfast, the sailer navigates to (#X). After breakfast it was time toSealion say good bye. We disembark the sailer by the dinghy and returned by bus to the airport. The most passengers from the sailer returned to their home country or to the next adventure via Quito or Guayaquil now. I think Dragon at the police stationthat is very stressful, has nothing to do with vacation. I call it "self made spare time stress". If you visit foreign countries you never will see everything, you never can do everything. If you run behind every tourist attraction you have been their physically. Have you been there mentally, have you been their with your full and open mind. I can not imagine. My destination now was the bus to the canal to return to Puerto Ayora for three days. I want to say flying frigate birdgood bye to the dragons at the police station, the pelicans and heron at the fish market, the tortoise in the Darwin Station and, and, and ....

After a short bus ride I arrived at the canal an took the next ferry to cross the small water. The bus Pelican approaching a treeon the other side would go in about two hours. So I took a taxi which is more expensive but even faster. I arrived again at the hotel Red Booby and get room number 9. I put my backpack into the room and walked over to the TAME office to reconfirm my flight back to Guayaquil. That was not so easy. The small building at the main road had two entries. I recognized flying pelicanthe right entry only and that was the wrong one. The right entry is indicated as "cargo office". Many people where waiting in line behind the counter. They wait mainly to receive letters or small parcels. It took a while before the clerk explained, that I had to use the left entry. Really, the left entry was indicated as "travel office" and the steps leaded me up to the right office. I took a number and the reconfirmation was done in a few minutes. It was around noon and time to have lunch. Tis day I went into the back roads of Puerto Ayora. There are small and very good but simple restaurants. Usually only Santa Cruz people are in there. I had a fantastic lunch including drinks for around four Dragon at the police stationDollars.

I spend the afternoon around the fish market, watching the fishermen, pelicans and frigate birds. The pelicans had enough food they just stand around and did the same like me. At the evening I checked for the dragons at the police station, they where gone. It starts to drizzle.

Tuesday, November 6th 2007

large Dragon at the police station It seems there was some rain tonight. It is still drizzles. The sun tries to break through the clouds. I had a fine breakfast in the hotel and went to the police station to watch the dragons. Two very large dragons are there. I tried to make pictures and lay down onto the ground. The large dragon told me, I have to leaveroad in Puerto Ayora because it is his area. Laying flat on the ground I guess I look like a large dragon. The fishmarket was not busy this morning. Only a few pelicans waiting.

house in Puerto AyoraThere is no real espresso on Santa Cruz available. A normal coffee is available. However, you always can order espresso. You will get a normal coffee served in a small espresso cup. The price is the same as for a normal coffee. And yes, the Galapagos Islands do have a coffee production. You can buy mechanist's repair shop real Galapagos-Coffee.

I walked through Puerto Ayora, away from the waterfront. It is a clean and nice little town. Clean does not mean that the houses are like houses in e.g. Munich or the usual Pick UpsLondon. The houses are small and around the property there is mostly a lot of material e.g. to repair the roof or the doors. Sometimes the paint is a bit down from the walls. But everything gives the impression of a cleaned area.fishmarket Never you have to walk throught waste. The repair material always is placed in a "line" on one point of the property. I have not seen dirty roads. A mechanist has his repair shop outside.

At noon I had lunch great blue heronagain in a small restaurant away from the main road. Good food and drinks in a nice restaurant with local people only. The people are very friendly. Especially far away from the waterfront.fishmarket

Later in the afternoon I went to the fish market again. It was busy their. Additional to the usual pelicans there was a great blue heron and some gulls. That heron is a very graceful bird. However, the heron always was in fight with the pelicans.

Wednesday, November 7th 2007

The last day on Galapagos, Santa Cruz. It is cloudy. Seems it will drizzle soon. Nothing happen at the fish market. On the way to the Darwin Station there was a large dragon just on the way. In the lagoon close to the Darwin Station entrance there was a blue heron building a nest. Later at the police station again several large dragons. I wished them good luck and good bye!

Thursday, November 8th 2007

Leaving. Getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning. Breakfast at 6 o'clock. Then a taxi drive to the airport, no, to the canal, crossing the canal by boat and going by bus to the airport. No dragons. It seems they clean the airport on Mondays only. No cleaning crew today. I leave the "Island of the Dragons", direction Guayaquil. I know, I need to come back one day to see the dragons again!

Guayaquil has a very modern airport. Outside green with water and fish. Inside even the displays work well. It is morning. The connection to Madrid is in the evening. There is no possibility to secure the luggage, no way to go into Guayaquil.

The people are friendly and they try to help always.

Afternoon, the check-in procedure starts. Such flight seems to be very important for the people, like a family meeting. About 5 times more people as passengers are waiting. When the "real" check-in queue starts, only people with tickets may enter the queue-way directing to the check-in counters. After check-in I had to pay $26, the fee to leave Ecuador. Passing the security I stand inside a large shop, selling such unnecessary smelling stuff.... Boarding, my thoughts are with the dragons .... leaving for Madrid.......

Friday, November 9th 2007

..... arrive at Madrid airport in the morning. Heading to the terminal going to Munich, passing the procedure to enter the European Union.

Boarding.......  arrive Munich airport in the afternoon, no dragons anymore.

Last modification: September 11 - 2009  DF2IR