Chica's Gap Year Part II 2005/06 travel blog

Blue footed booby

Sea lions

Frigate birds

Cactus forest

Land Iguana

Sealions having a rest

Hermit crab


Nazca booby

Giant tortoises


Sarah providing a sense of scale

Tortoise foot, bit like an elephant's

Local wildlife

Camilo shows us how big the shell is

Dancing flamingoes

Boobies on the lookout

Sealions watching us

Team Beagle 13-20 June 2006

Sunset from The Beagle

Sunset II

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Oyster Catchers

Marine Iguana

Camilo and Jessica

Rock formation

Galapagos Penguins

Extinct volcano crater

Russell Crowe was here (Master & Commander film)

Me, Jessica and Lilli

Jessica in pensive mood

Maggie & I admiring the sunset

Nazca Booby

Redfooted Booby

Redfooted Boobies

Camilo & Maggie

I was a bit scared here in case mum sealion turned up


The Beagle

A dream fulfilled in coming here.

As ever it started off a bit sketchy. I was supposed to be met at the airport in Quito, that didn't happen so I sorted myself out and got on the flight which was via Guayaquil on the coast 45 mins away and then anothe hoour and 20 mins to Baltra in the Gapalapagos. Safari toours had told me that I needed to wear a rather gaudy badge when I arrived in Baltra so I would join the right tour group. To put on that badge (3 inches cross so not too small and discreet) I would have looked like an arse. I didn't bother. Just as well as the badge had the name of the tour company who were not even at the airport... I looked out for someone carrying a sign with the name of the boat. No problems.

The tour was not cheap. I was afraid I'd be stuck with a lot of old people wanting to talk about the war years or rich people being snooty etc.... Pleasantly surprised, the group originally 11 of us were a mixed bunch, the oldest being nearly 80 and the youngest of 16, and all a good laugh. Our guide Camilo shephered us onto the bus that would take us to the dock where we would take the dingy to the boat. The Beagle, it looked magnificent in the bay, but I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed about not being on the Mary-Anne, sad but true.

We had a welcome cocktail, met the crew and settled into our cabins. From here on in it was non-stop action, sailing, snorkelling (best I've ever done for seeing fish!), bird watching, sealion, shark and turtle spotting. We visited some of the eastern and southern islands in the archipelego and spent a lot of time trying to get good pictures of the wild life.


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