The Galapagos Islands

Part 6 of 7

22nd December 2000

Sailing around the Galapagos Islands

This is going to prob'ly be a dull e-mail, but I need to do a travel log update. It's been a frantic 3 weeks heading up and down Chile and Argentina, but it's been unbelievably fantastic. Quite frankly, it was simply a frantic but fantastic time !



I've spent the last 8 days living on a tiny boat, sailing around what can only be described as ......
well words fail me really ...... the best I can come up with is that word again ....... awesome !!!

I wasn't really that bothered at seeing a load of birds & animals at first, but after each day and seeing more and more animals I was simply astounded. The list is endless of the animals and birds that we saw, but needless to say I took shed loads of photos ...... something to bore the pants off you all when I'm back !!

Now Sea Lions, not something I'd really seen before, they were everywhere ........ we swam with them on the last day; they were just playing with us .....they'd swim up to you twisting and turning, spinning and swirling all over the place ....... dolphins are pants in comparison !! An outrageous comment I know but it's true !!!

Talking of dolphins, after we swam with the sea lions, about 25-30 dolphins decided to try and make me eat my words by following our boat for about half an hour ...... and that was after I'd swam with giant turtles and white tip reef sharks the day before !!!

Not feeling sea sick, but my stomach did turn !

Everyone was warning me that whilst on the boat I'd feel seasick. I don't know about that but after the trip and back on dried solid land I did begin to feel land sick which was quite a strange experience.

But worse was to follow ...... I felt really sick at this ...... I was in place called Guayaquil, waiting for another long haul night bus (only 7 hours this time). I was sat down overlooking the harbour drinking a bottle of coke, when a dodgy looking bloke came up to me.

To cut a long story short, he was a definite shirt lifter .......

  1. he asked if I needed somewhere to stay
    .... "no I'm taking the night bus";

  2. do you want a shower and some food before you go
    ...... "no, I've already eaten and I don't need a shower";

  3. do you want a massage then before your long bus journey
    ........ "No, just f**k off will you".
    I then got the hell out of there, getting a taxi to the bus station some 3-4 hours early !

Christmas and the New Year.

Having safely got the hell out of Gauyaquil, I'm now in a place called Baños (amusingly also the for toilet in Spanish !) preparing for a South America Christmas ....... the place is full of backpackers so it'll be pretty much like Europe without the snow !

One defo' difference will be my Christmas dinner ....... no turkey ...... I'm up for the local speciality ....... Roast Guinea Pig ..... served with the head !!! Should be interesting !

As for New Year, well I'm not too sure just yet. My planned Champagne and lobster in Trinidad & Tobago with Bill has fallen through ....... we're both struggling with time ...... I could easily spend another 4 months and still not see everything that I want to.

I'm going to be somewhere in Ecuador, prob'ly the beach !!! It's then off to Venezuela, I haven't got a flight sorted yet, so it may mean going cross county over Columbia. I've met loads of people who reckon it's the best place in South America. Angel Falls may have to be ditched until my next visit - also heard that the falls aren't very watery at this time of year.

Oh yes next Christmas I'm going to be in Chile & Argentina .... doing the Antarctica glacier stuff ...... you've got to have something to look forward to, after all I'll be home soon !!

Before the Galapagos Islands.

I nearly forgot before I went to the Galapagos Islands I went to a place called Vilcabamba, up in the mountains in the south of Ecuador. It's a well chilled out place, supposedly with the longest living people in the world ..... it referred to as the Valley of Longevity.

Whilst there I went horse riding for the first time in my life. It was well cool ..... apart from the sore legs and arse. Two days on a horse, the 1st day we went up the mountain, the 2nd we galloped down it ...... I can tell you now for nothing, it was well scary at times, hair pin bends on gravel paths !!!

Hope you all have a Happy Christmas and New Year.

30th December 2000

Happy Christmas ...... "Feliz Navidad" in Spanish

Now don't get confused my Spanish is still absolutely shite, but it looks good if I get someone else to tell me what the Spanish is.

Well first of all I didn't spend Christmas in Baños as I'd originally planned. I spent 10 hours on a bus to get there and then hopped on the next bus South to a place called Cuenca (another 8 hour bus journey).

When I got there I met up with Sarah (I'd been travelling with her for 2 months from Santiago to Cusco) and two lovely (they've just made me type in lovely) other girls that she was now travelling with ...... I'd met them previously on my travels. Karen in Ica - the sand boarding place, and Irene in Vilcabamba where I went horse riding.

I'd travelled down there with this mad Aussie lad (I discovered that his birthday's the same as mine - 24 April !!). He told me the most amazing story about being drugged on a bus journey from Quito to Otavaldo; then sleeping for 2 days; waking up with no gear - his rucksack was in the hotel reception; but he has no idea how he got from the bus to the hotel !!

He then decided to go for a walk ...... only to loose his hotel ...... it took him another 2 days to find the hotel ........ yes 2 days !

Basically he walked the streets for 2 days going into all the hotels in town, but he couldn't find / recognise his hotel (bright yellow exterior) ........ so he crashed at another hotel .... he got them to contact the police - hoping that his hotel had contacted them saying "doped up Aussie bloke has gone missing" !

The police arrived in flashing cars attracting then attention of all around ...... after 10 minutes of what the hell are you going on about - he'd only been in South America for 5 days at this point, so his Spanish was worse then mine !

Anyway after 10 minutes this woman walks over to find out what was happening .... blah dee blah dee blah ..... "but you are staying at my hotel just over there" ..... directly opposite the place where he sought refuge 2 days earlier !!!

This caused great amusement amongst us all as we started our Christmas tide celebrations ie beers, beers get the f**king beers in !!!

Christmas eve

Christmas eve continued in the same vein ....... I was treated to a bit of Stone Roses in the courtyard beer garden. This was a nice present as my walkman has been busted for month or so now ..... 15 tapes and no walkman to listen to them on !!!

Later that night it was Stone Roses to salsa dancing ..... well whilst the others salsa'd, I slept in a hammock in the club !!! I got "disco'd" Hudds poly style at about 3am though ie jumped on and shook with the words "disco" echoing in my ears ..... I think revenge was sweet for Sarah ..... I'd "disco'd" her earlier that afternoon !

Christmas Day

The following morning I awoke with a blinding headache ..... but do as you must I strolled out to breakfast with a bottle of red in hand !!!

Start as you mean to go on !!!

As the day progressed the wine and pina-coladas flowed .... and the conversation (well mine for defo) got more and more riveting .... by dark I could see spaceships coming into land above our heads !!!

I won't even try to justify that comment .. just remember the wine !!!

Cricket !!!

I was given an even greater Christmas present to follow my Stone Roses present the night before. Earlier in the day though I played cricket ..... yeah ..... wooden crate for stumps, a piece of crate for a bat and a kiddies bath ball for a ball .... it was great, great fun !

"Feliz Navidad"

On Boxing Day, over breakfast, we were all treated to a classic story of "Feliz Navidad" ..... this French Canadian lad got off with this Aussie girl and he performed his duties under a chorus of "Feliz" (In), "Navidad" (Out) !!!

By the way I felt amazingly good, much to mine and everyone's surprise .... so a boozy boxing day was in order ..... went for walk around town first to see the sights and all that.

I'm now preparing for New Year, in Baños, which will prob'ly be another boozy affair as I've met up with some people off my Galapagos trip ...... I'll report back in due course.

Happy New Year

I've just checked the footie scores most of the games postponed due to frost, but Ipswich are 3rd, and The Cobblers beat 'Boro !!

PPS Travel Plans
There's no easy way to say this other then spit it out ....... I can't be arsed to go to Angel Falls ..... especially when I've just read that England "A" are playing in Trinidad & Tobago on the 12-15 Jan. (I fly home on the 17th.)

Angel Falls (tallest waterfall in the world) vs cricket and beach.. you decide ... answers on a post card please !?!