Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Our trip to the Galapagos, Ecuador and Peru - Day 3

According to the Celebrity book, Sunday, March 7 is day 3 of the tour.
Quito to Baltra Island in the Galapagos:
You may pre-arrange a wake-up call depending on your departure time to Baltra Island.  Please ensure that your ship baggage tags are firmly affixed to your luggage and ensure that you hand carry all medication, travel documents  and valuables.  From the hotel lobby, your luggage will be checked straight through to the ship and delivered to your stateroom. 
Motorcoach transfer - Hotel to Airport:
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island, Galapagos will depart the hotel at approx. 7:00 am (breakfast was available in the hotel).
Flight Transfer - Quito Airport to Baltra Island, Galapagos.  (this is the 4th airplane we have been on)
- trip length: approximately 3 1/2 hours, departing Quito Airport at appox. 8:00 am.
Motorcoach Transfer - Baltra Island Airport to Tender Pier
Upon arrival at the Baltra Airport, you will be met by a Celebrity Xpedition Representative and will proceed to clear documentation and inspections by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park.  Please note:  your 13-night Galapagos package includes the $100.00 per person entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park.  After all documentation has been cleared, you will be escorted just outside the main entrance of the airline terminal where a Celebrity Xpedition rep. will co-ordinate your transportation to the tender pier where you will transfer to the ship via Zodiac.
Since my travel journal consists of about 3 lines saying I am bagged and going to sleep, this day is being copied from Celebrity's information.
One thing not mentioned in my journal is that while going through the line ups at the Airport to get on the airplane there were a few vendors trying to sell us things.  One guy was offering sunglasses... just what I needed!  To make the long story short.. we managed to get a pair of knock off RayBans for $10.

Flying into Baltra

Our ship, the Xpedition.
Welcome onboard
North Seymour has been named after Lord Hugh Seymour and is located at the central area of the Archipelago, just north of Baltra.  It has been formed through a series of uplifts of submarine lavas deposited as a flat plateau along underwater fissures.  These sporadic uplifts took more than a million years to bring the island to its present level.  The major attraction here is the colony of Frigate birds, the largest in the Galapagos. Most are Magnificent Frigate birds (Magnificent having purplish nape feathers and the Great Frigate birds having greenish)  The full trail is about 2 kilometers long and passes very close to the colony.  There may be the possibility of seeing the males with their red throat pouches fully extended, in order to attract females.  The females do most of the mate choosing and use the male's inflated gular pouch as a way to judge gene superiority among the many males ready to mate.  Also along the path, there are breeding pairs of blue footed boobies.  You might have a chance to see their remarkable courtship display, comical and delightful at the same time, a slow, mirrored booby pas de deux.  There are always Iguanas and Sea Lions present to observe and photograph.
1:00 - 2:30 - Buffet Lunch at Darwin's Restaurant, International Cuisine, Deck 3 (We were in cabin 409 with adequate space, non opening window, double bed and small sofa, table, 2 chairs, small desk area.  bathroom with shower, double closet space)
3:00 - Naturalist welcome briefing.  Discovery Lounge, Deck 4.
4:00 - Boat drill (find our life jackets and put them on and go to the dispersal station.
4:30 - Long walk activity - Dry landing at North Seymour Island - 1.5 hours.
4:45 - Short Walk Activity - Zodiac ride along the coastline with dry landing at North Seymour Island.  1.5 hours.  WE took the short walk.  It was very rocky and very hot.  We are advised to weae sun block, good walking shoes, and carry water. We get our life jackets on, get into the zodiac - 16 people per boat - ride about and see the birds, and animals.  We then stop at the jumping off place and our Naturalist guide and the driver of the boat help us get off, with the elbow to elbow hand holds.  It works really very well.  We leave our life jackets with the boat and walk along single file, behind the guide with stops for information.  I miss a lot of the information as I am trying to get photos.  We go back to the ship in the same manner.
6:45 back on board
&:30 Captain Jose Ma. Villavicencio, Master of the M/V Xpedition and his officers would like to welcome you all onboard with a toast.  Followed by the Briefing on Tomorrow's activities at the Discover Lounge.
&:45 - 9:30  Dinner at Darwin's Restaurant, Deck 3 (open seating)   The food is very good.  All gratuities, wine, drinks etc.  are included in the package price.
::Every evening our cruise director, Karina Lopez, will give a briefing concerning the following day's activities.  Please remember to sign up for your activity at night to guarantee your selection for the following day.  We also chose our menu items to give the cooks some idea of how much of everything to make.
This is a swallow tailed gull.  
My first capture of a sea lion.  There were many many more opportunities.  These animals and birds are all very tame and we can get quite close to them.
a male sea lion and the surf.  This one particular spot on the island had a magnificent spot for watching the waves break on the rocks.
Female Frigate bird and baby.
Male Frigate Bird with red pouch extended to attract females.
I believe this is a blue footed booby.  There will be photos of the blue feet on another day. 


Donna said...

Lucky you!!!
I think Ecuador Galapagos travel its one of the best trips you can ever do!
I feel really jealousy!

Maggie said...

UNlucky you that I have allowed your stupid, vapid, ignorant advertising on my blog. If I want to travel I will do my own research. Please stay away from my blog. Advertising and spamming is in NO WAY welcome here! Maybe you recognize this F off.
You and all the rest of the stupid spmmmers.