Friday, March 29, 2013

Our journey to the Galapagos Islands.

Happy Friday everyone!  Also, Happy Good Friday and Passover if those apply to you.

Finally, I feel normal enough to start a conversation about our trip to the Galapagos.  This was something I had wanted to do since I was a little girl in elementary school, learning about the islands and of course, Lonesome George, who sadly passed away before I ever got the chance to meet the guy.  Although, I did find out some interesting tidbits on the giant tortoises, which I will share later.

There are so many ways you can explore the islands, and I became a little overwhelmed when I first started looking at planning.  We decided to pick March to visit, which is their hot, rainy season, because it was supposed to be the best for snorkeling.  The snorkeling certainly did not disappoint.  Our guide kept telling us we were extremely lucky we had clouds that kept us somewhat cool without too much rain, and I have to agree, of course with nothing else to compare it to.

We decided to book with a travel agency that either Frommer's or Fodor's (can't remember which one) recommended.  It was called Expedition Trips, and they are based out of Seattle, WA.  The boat we chose, the Legend, is actually owned by a company called Klein Tours, which is based out of Ecuador.  Many people booked directly with Klein Tours, and all of our pamphlets, etc. had their names on it.
Our boat, the Legend!
To backtrack a little, Expedition told us some interesting tidbits about Galapagos travel.  Airfare to the islands can be overbooked, and the only way to secure a seat is to have pre-booked travel, like on a boat.  I wasn't sure if that was true or not, but sure enough, there were lines at the airport for "confirmed" seats and "stand-by" travel.  We thought about doing a night or two at a hotel on the islands, rather in Quito, but Expedition said we would not have confirmed seats this way.  Boy, am I glad that we listened!
Our ride to Baltra in the Galapagos.
We booked this trip kind of last minute, and so we were offered either a room upgrade on the boat, or 10% off of our stay.  Now, the boat is not a huge cruise liner or anything, and we knew we'd only be in our rooms for a short period of time, so we were more tempted by the discount.  The only thing I asked is that we had a window in our room.  Not a huge window, but a window, nonetheless.  I was assured all rooms on board has at least a porthole window.  Well, when we stepped foot on board, we did not have a window.  The boat only held 100 people, but apparently two of the rooms did not have windows.  One was ours.  Luckily, the boat was less than half full, and the crew was nice enough to switch our room.  Joel may or may not have lied and said it was our Anniversary, which I did not condone or approve of, by the way.  I haven't let Expedition know this yet, but I will.  This was the only part of the trip that I was pretty disappointed with.

Finally, our room with a window!
Other than that, they arranged for our hotel transfers, inter country flights, and our hotel stay in Quito.  We didn't stay at the Hilton or anything, but the Hotel in Old Town was nice, clean, and comfortable, which is all we wanted.  And breakfast the one day we had it was superb.

Our room in Quito, at the Patio Andaluz.


Jen said...

Wow...just wow! I need you to plan vacations for me haha. :)

Anonymous said...

Glad you were able to switch rooms! That would have been no fun without a window.