Making tracks

Took the hotel shuttle to the airport, and went through special bureaucratic hoops to initiate our entrance into the Galápagos province. Our flight was on an Airbus, with new seats. And new vocabulary: código QR and rodaje. The latter means when taxi-ing.

Here’s our plane disgorging tourists (and a few locals). We found more bureaucratic hoops in the terminal, nothing that wasn’t solved by standing in line and presenting documents.

However, the airport is on Baltra, and we wanted to be on Santa Cruz, and there were many sturdy ferries to move us…

…and our luggage across the Itabasca channel. Yes, that’s the boat we rode in, and that’s our luggage on the roof. Darned sturdy roof.

Our first stop was a turtle sanctuary, where we ate lunch. Having gotten out of bed at 4:40, and it being after one (plus one time zone change), during which time we had little food and no coffee…we were darned glad to tuck into a superb spread cooked by the chef and team from our yacht, Grace. After dining, we donned lovely rubber boots, and took a stroll.

Here’s one of our two guides helping us understand the intricacies of tortoise life, love, and subsistence.

Most of the tortoises we saw were large males, which are typically about three times the size of the females.

We even got to see a lava tube. These are volcanic islands, like the Hawaiian archipelago, but much, much smaller.

Refreshed and excited from many turtle sightings, we bussed through Puerto Ayora to the harbor.

Right by where we put on our life jackets, a pregnant mama sea lion was zoned out while her very large offspring was dining on all milk s/he could extract.

Fascinating feet. Flippers.

We rode on pangas (dinghies) out to the Grace. Wonderful to have arrived at our home-for-a-week. Gorgeous sunset over Puerto Ayora.

And a giant moon in the opposite direction. This is the largest yacht allowed to ferry tourists in Galápagos waters. It has 100 guests. The Grace hosts sixteen.

Reminder: when the post time is 10:22 pm, it was posted at some point after the day it is dated.

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