Saturday, April 28, 2012

South America Day 27: Galapagos

January 2012

The morning was spent resting on the top deck after breakfast while the boat refueled.

At around 9 am we got into the dinghy's again and visited Black Turtle Cove. Here we saw many sea turtles and watched the pelicans fish.

We sailed further around the Island before lunch and siesta.

After lunch we had our first snorkeling trip of the day, swimming with sea turtles, sting rays and tropical fish.

That afternoon we made a landing on Cerro Dragon, walking up to a view point and seeing flamingos, mockingbirds and finches along the way.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

South America Day 26: Galapagos

January 2012

Up at 6:30 am for breakfast and on the dinghys by 7:45 am. We landed on North Seymour Island to baby sea lions.

 The Island is a breading place for frigate birds and we saw many males with their red balloons trying to attract females.

We also saw a few blue footed boobies which aren't currently as common as in the past due to the lack of sardines.

We saw some land Iguanas and watched the sea lions play on the beach.

Once back on board the boat we had a quick snack, before getting ready for our first snorkeling expeditions.

We snorkeled for about an hour off North Seymour seeing some white tip reef sharks, lots of tropical fish and some marine Iguanas feeding.

Once back on the boat we had lunch before preparing for afternoon activities.

That afternoon we went for another snorkel, further up North Seymour, seeing more tropical fish, about 8 sharks and swam with the sea lions.

Once back at the boat we set sail for Mosquera. Here on a big white sandy Island was a colony of sea lions, most with babies. We spent an hour on the Island observing the many activities of the sea lions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

South America Day 25: Quito to Galapagos

January 2012

Off to the airport for a 1015 flight. They scan your bags before check in to make sure that your not bringing anything on board that might contaminate the pristine Galapagos region.

Once landing on Baltra it was a 10 minute bus ride, followed by a 10 minute boat ride across the channel to the Island of Santa Cruz. Here we then had a 45 minute min bus ride to the main port.

We got dinghys to our boat - the Queen Beatrix - and enjoyed a buffet lunch before our first activities in the Galapagos.

Our first trip was to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, our first sight was heaps of iguanas (not my favourite animal) as we got off the boat.

Once at the actual research center we saw baby Galapagos Tortoises only born within the past 10 days, and right up to those that are just ready for release back into the wild.

We snuck a look at Lonesome George (he is very shy), saw some bright orange land Iguanas and the Espanola Tortoise.

We walked back into town watching the birds and a cheeky sea lion by the water.

We watched the sun go down while having pre-dinner drinks, followed by a sit down dinner with the rest of the group.

Our trip was with g adventures, mainly for the low tour size (max of 16) and the culture of the company. We did this trip

Sunday, April 22, 2012

South America Day 24: Lima to Quito

January 2012

Most of the morning spent in transit or travelling.

Arrived at our plush hotel in the late afternoon, having a very long shower before meeting our group for the Galapagos cruise we would be leaving on tomorrow.

After our meeting DH and I went for dinner at Rincon La Ronda. We shared the tamales and dumplings for entree, for dinner I had the pork with all the trimmings and DH had the suckling pig.

La Parc, Quito

Rincon La Ronda, Lima

Travel day

Friday, April 20, 2012

South America Day 23: Lima

January 2012

Off on the Mirabus tour of the city. Most of the time was spent on the bus, but we had 40 min in the Cathedral and 20 min in the main square.

Once back in town at Kennedy Park we walked down to the sea and Larcomar. We had lunch at the Peruvian McDonalds - Bembos before heading back into Miaflora's.

After a rest at the hotel we headed back into a busy Kennedy Park to have dinner at La Lucha. We lined up 30 min for a roast beef sandwich and beef with onion and cheese sandwich. We also had some frozen juice and then walked in the park, watching the cats play in the park (they are protected in Kennedy park).

La Castellana, Lima

La Lucha

Mirabus city tour
Walk through Kennedy Park

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

South America Day 22: Paracas to Lima

January 2012

Up early for a trip out to the Ballestas islands. Know as the poor man's Galapagos we were unsure if we should make the trip (as Galapagos was our next main stop), but we're glad we did, they were no disappointment.

On the boat out you see another image in the sand, similar to the Nazca lines.

The Ballestas Islands were just full of thousands of birds, sea lions, penguins and other wildlife.

We then spent an hour on the Boulevard back at Paracas before catching the bus to Lima.

Once in Lima we had dinner at a place next to some pre-Inca clay ruins, at Huaca Pucullana, we shared the ceviche (noticing the trend), I had the chowder for main and DH had beef strips. We then walked our way back into town.

La Castellana, Lima

Restaurant Huaca Pucllana, Lima

Ballestas Islands, Paracas