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Old 04-30-2013, 08:21 PM   #74
camitzi OP
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Vancouver BC
Oddometer: 90
Galapagos Islands

We entered Ecuador and as it was late we stopped in the first town right after the border, Macara. It was dark, we were tired, and we were looking for a hotel. But first, we had to find an ATM and get some cash. And surprise: the only two ATMs in town were not taking any of our cards. We tried all the cards we had, nothing. When we saw this, we decided to keep going until the next town, about 150 km away, hoping that we would find an ATM that would work for us there. But hey, we had no more gas either, and gas stations only take cash, so we couldn't go. The last option was to find a place to camp somewhere, and then try again the next day. But before we did that, we decided to try one more time. And finally one of our credit cards worked. The sound of the machine counting the money was never better music to our ears. So now we had money for dinner too! With our stomachs full we went to a well deserved sleep.
The next days we rode all the way to Guayaquil. Another challenge here to find a decent place to stay, as there was some concert in town and all the hotels were full. We figured if we were going further from the center, we would have higher chances to find something. But soon we realized we did not want to stay in a hotel in the outskirts of the city. We found ourselves in some really creepy places, there were plenty of hotels, and they had rooms, but I would have been scared to stay there. On top of that it started pouring and the streets were flooded so bad, we could barely get through on bikes. So we turned back to the center and managed to find a nice place that still had some rooms.
The next day Vasile did his oil change on his bike, while I shopped around for flight tickets to Galapagos Islands and hotels. This little escape was going to cost us an arm and a leg. But we were decided to do it.
Two days later we left the bikes at the hotel and we were in the plain heading to Galapagos. And when we got there we felt like in a different world. The whole landscape was so different! Even though it rained the first day, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there.
Here are some of the highlights of our stay.
First, we stayed for three days in Isla Isabela, and here are its beautiful beaches, with white fine sand and the perfectly clear and turquoise water.




Lots of big, colourful crabs


The second day in Isla Isabela we rented bikes and we rode on incredible trails on the beach or through forests of mangroves or cactus














We saw the beautiful pink flamingos


and the giant Galapagos turtles at the breeding center


as well as lots of them in the wild, in their natural habitat








On the way back, we saw the lava tunnels, where some people were snorkeling






Lots of marine iguanas, species that only leave here, in Galapagos Islands




After three incredible days in Isla Isabela, we took a speed boat to Isla Santa Cruz. And here we saw more giant turles




The unique blue footed boobies




The cute Galapagos penguins


Playful seals sharing the same space with humans




More marine iguanas


and land iguanas


And pelicans and seals trying to get some fish from the fishermen




We were so fortunate to see there, among the fishing boats, a beautiful big eagle ray


This was the thing that impressed us most about Galapagos: the variety of animals living in such a small place, and sharing the same space with humans. Never before have we seen so many different species in their natural habitat all at once.

The last day in Santa Cruz Island we went to see the Tortuga Bay beach, as I heard from so many people that it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We had to walk for about 45 minutes, but it was so worth it. The beach was amazing, and the water was great, just perfect for swimming.




We were quit sad when we left the islands, but now we have to get to Bogota and ship the bikes to Miami. We will be using Lynn Cargo to ship our bikes. We have already contacted Veronica, and we are planning to be in Miami the first week of May. More news to come.
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