Quito to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Day 5

Sally lightfoot crab, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands

On our way to PUERTO AYORA…

One challenging aspect of travel in foreign countries, and especially in countries where you don’t speak the lingo, is actually figuring out how to get around.  This really distinguishes the traveler from the tourist.  For some bizarre reason I actually enjoy trying to figure out the logistics.  I remember being in China years ago and one of my proudest moments was buying my own train ticket.  Ecuador is slightly less chaotic, although it takes two taxis, two flights, two buses, a ferry, and 7 hours of travel time for Christi and I to reach our hotel in Puerto Ayora on the most populated of the Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz Island.  Our departure from Quito also afforded us spectacular views of the volcanoes that ring the city.  And here’s a quick mountaineering fact: Mt. Chimborazo (20,564 feet) is the highest peak in Ecuador and due to its position along the equator, the summit of Chimborazo (rather than Everest at 29,035 feet) has the distinction of being the highest point on the planet when measured from the center of the earth outwards.  Not a lot of people know that. 

Puerto Ayora is a gorgeous waterfront town and as we amble along the harbor we spot sally lightfoot crabs (tons of them) crawling over the lava rock bed pools as the waves crash onshore.  Then we spot a few small marine iguanas sunning themselves – some even on the pier itself – right next to a basking sea lion and its cub.  Overhead frigate birds (incredible fliers – they can remain aloft for up to a week at a time – but they can’t swim!) glide by while brown pelicans dive in the shallows.  A great blue heron peers into rock pools looking for a snack.  Mangroves line the bay providing convenient resting places for brown pelicans.  It’s all so spectacular and we haven’t even begun the cruise yet.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weary Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.


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