The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

Arriving On Baltra Island

SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2007. PUERTO AYORA, ISLA SANTA CRUZ, GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR. We have arrived in the Galapagos Islands and booked an 8 day/7 night cruise on a boat named Eden departing tomorrow. Accordingly, this will be my last post until our return next week Sunday, April 29. The Galapagos Islands are the final stop on my almost two year around the world trip and the pièce de résistance of my travels in South America. Check back in a week for an update on what's been called the wildlife experience of a lifetime.

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Jeff and I booked our cruise with Jenny at Moonrise Travel in Puerto Ayora. Our original plan was to try to visit boats at Puerto Ayora's harbor and see if there was any last minute availability. After wandering the pier, it became clear that we would need some time to find a boat (The few boats that were there were anchored in the middle of the harbor). Moreover, it was a weekend (Saturday) and most offices were closed . Many tours begin on Sunday and Thursday, so we decided to check out Moonrise Travel, which was recommended by Lonely Planet. Luckily, Jenny was still working. Only a few boats were available including Eden. Coincidentally, Jeff's friend's, John Nevado's (of Nevado Ecuador Roses), friend owned Eden. Boats are classified generally as tourist, tourist superior, first class, and luxury. Eden is considered a first class boat. Our day before departure was $1280 cash for a twin cabin accommodation with private bath and air conditioning (Those guests who prebooked through an agent paid about $1600). As we didn't have all the cash on hand (ATMs only permit maximum withdrawals of between $300-500 per day), Jenny was kind enough to accept 68% of the total, with the balance payable upon our return to Puerto Ayora (Really unheard of for a travel agent to do this, but I think she liked us and, thus, trusted us to eventually pay, which we did). Our cruise would begin the next day, Sunday. We would meet the guide at Baltra Airport.

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