It's grey and raw outside my door today, with the kind of dampness that invades every sinew, inflames every arthritic joint. There is a sharpness to the wind as it whines and wails in the trees. Yet the dark-eyed juncos don't seem to mind. I'm envious of their energised playfulness on display underneath my bird feeders. They are cleaning up and having a blast doing so, or so it seems from all their chatter and swooping about.
Me? Well I'm just having a day - nothing terrible, except the wrong buttons are done up on my fleece jacket ("Screw it," I say!), just a noon time sit in the flat calm of the doldrums. Even the noon weather radar bears me out:
Ah but change is coming. Our next great adventure is rising above the horizon - The Galapagos! Warm temperatures and ocean breezes, a sea voyage and a land trek all in Darwin's back yard. With any luck we may catch sight of newly hatched giant tortoises making a break for the sea. Wow!
Here's the itinerary for the cruise:
Here's the boat:
|image courtesy of GAdventures|
And here's the land portion:
Day 1 Santa Cruz Island: Transfer to hotel and meet the local guide
Day 2 Floreana Island: Enjoy guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history of the Island. Opportunities for swimming and snorkeling
Day 3 Isabela Island: Visit the Flamingo Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon in the Galápagos and a principal breeding ground for flamingos.
Day 4-5 Isabela Island:
Hike up the active Sierra Negra Volcano and walk around the rim of the second-largest volcanic crater in the world. Continue to the lava fields of the Volcano Chico and enjoy your lunch admiring views of the surrounding volcanoes and Islands. Visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre and the 'Wall of Tears' historical site. Optional excursion to 'Islote Tintoreras', a large crevice with clear, calm water in which whitetip sharks (tintoreras) rest daily on the bottom. Get a close-up view of pelicans, frigate birds and diving blue footed boobies. Watch for manta rays and rare Galapagos penguins, of which only 800 pairs exist.
Day 6 Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora
Day 7 Santa Cruz Island: Baltra airport to Quito
Phew! I've warmed up already. Supply lists have been started - the clothes, the footwear, the dive gear, the health supplies, the electronics, the chargers and power supplies, and our renewed passports will be ready next week.
Oh and just look outside my window NOW:
Not a bird in sight, not fit for man or beast...
It truly is time to get outta Dodge!
©2015 April Hoeller