Galapagos Adventure

December 1994

The Galapagos Islands in the Central eastern Pacific Ocean are a recently formed set of volcanic islands. The oldest island in the group is just 5 million years old - "a babe in arms," geologically speaking. Appearing barren and desolate from the air, they are one of the world great wildlife parks. Comments I've made about organised adventure don't apply here. There are few ways to see this marvel other than on an organised tour.

I escaped the oppressive heat of Guayaquil, Ecuador. My flight landed at the airport on Isla San Cristobal late one Thursday morning. Our nature guide met me and other passengers at the airport. The loaders wanted to stop for lunch before unloading the plane so we waited a long time for luggage. We transferred to the ship to meet some other passengers and have a light lunch. After lunch we sailed to a small island near the port to view sea lions and marine iguanas. The guide described it as a small aperitif to prepare us for the week ahead.

That evening after dinner, some of the crew left to go ashore for a few hours while the rest of us settled down to rest. At 1.30 am, I awoke to the sound of the diesel engines starting. We had been told that we were going to sail through the night for the six-hour trip to Espanola Island, home of the blue-footed booby colony. We sat down to breakfast next morning and noticed that Jose, the waiter was cooking and there was no sign of the chef. Chef apparently got drunk the night before and didn't make the boat by the 1.30am cast off. Fortunately, Jose was a fully trained chef and the food was delicious all week.

Jose prepared each of us a whole lobster for lunch with a fruit based seafood sauce, quiche, green salad & rice salad. Fresh fish, lobsters and crab were caught daily and prepared them next meal. It's open ocean far from any settlement hence there were no health concerns. Eating seafood is not recommended through most of Latin America by medical authorities.