466 steps up through the Las Penas neighborhood in Guayaquil
we enjoyed such a good week with our close friends, Jimey and Kathy
our initital greeting in the Galapagos Island of San Cristobal
just one of the giant tortoises we saw
Sorry for the blogging lapse over the past week. (We are now making up for the silence by posting more than once.) We’ve been out of virtually all connection to the outside world. The Galapagos Islands offer a great escape to another world. We started out one week ago in Guayaquil, which is a port city in southwestern Ecuador. We spent one day walking the oldest part of the city. It was a hot day as we hiked up to one of the highest points, but we were rewarded with some excellent vistas, particularly of Las Penas and its surrounding neighborhoods. The next day, we flew to the Galapagos Islands with our close grad school friends, Jimey and Kathy Ames. We had a wonderful time together every single day. We stay on a yacht, the Monserrat, for five days and four nights with 16 other passengers from all over the world (Spain, England, Chile, Austria). The food, accommodations, guides, and service were all excellent. For our entire trip, we felt that we had stepped back in time to see what the world would have been like with fewer humans around. The word that we uttered and heard most often was a simple “WOW!” Within minutes of stepping off the plane in San Cristobal, we felt that the various animals were the ones who were highest up on the food chain. The thousands of sea lions that you see everywhere have taken over the benches, the beaches, the sea waterways, and even most of the boats that are moored in the harbor. It truly is hilarious. We also saw several giant tortoises in the wild, on the beaches, in the water, and in the wildlife refuges. Each day, we typically took a land hike, a smaller life boat (pongo boat) tour around one of the many small islands, a snorkelling expedition to see life under the water surface, and some beach time. Our pictures and words can never do justice to seeing all the wildlife and all the scenes in this remarkable place.