Las Islas Galapagos!

Monday, January 27, 2003
Hola mis amigos!! I finished my Galapagos cruise today. Wow, it was incredible! I knew there were animals here, but I had no idea that they are so friendly that the sea lions actually come up to you and try to smell you and your clothes. The animals have no fear here of people, since they don´t have predators. I swam with penguins and the sea lions too. The Galapagos National Park doesn´t allow you to tour the islands alone, so aboard our little boat we had our guide. We visited a whole bunch of islands and it was incredible! My new camera is absolutely great. I wasn't planning on taking so many pictures, but it is hard NOT to take a photo when you are sitting right next to the largest iguana you have ever seen.... and then he starts doing his predatory dance with the neighbor. Unbelievable! Darwin had the right idea when he came here for 6 weeks! Carla and I spotted some weird looking birds with funny beaks when we got here... we thought they were deformed, but no! They have adapted and because of their funny looking beaks they can get little bugs from inches under ground.

The other passengers were just as interesting - almost all the other passengers have already taken or were currently on a tour around the world. In comparison, my trip is short! How about 3 years?!? One guy isn´t returning back to Austria until his money runs out. I got lots of great advice on every place I might ever want to visit (including New Guinea) and next time I leave the country, I´ll be emailing Sharon and Bruce for tips about whatever country I go to since they seem to have been absolutely everywhere!

Right now I´m spending the day and early evening on San Cristobel... before I head off as a stow away! That´s right, you read correctly. I was practicing my Spanish with the crew of the boat I was on and when I asked them how I could get back to Santa Cruz (the island the boat originally left from) they said the ferry didn´t leave for a few days, then I found out the cargo ship isn´t full yet... and it only leaves when it´s full, and who knows when that might be. Just when I thought I might have to take a penga (scrawny little dinghy) for 6 hours or more to get back, the crew mentioned that there is another tourist cruise boat going there and maybe the captain will let me on! So, they took me there and it was sorted immediately. There weren´t any other tourists on the boat, and just when I was about to ask when the other passengers were going to return, they served lunch. I had lunch with the captain and found out the there ARE no other tourist passengers! The boat is on a little holiday from tourists this week, and it´s only the crew and a few of their friends and some of their family. Nothing like having your own free cabin on a boat in the Galapagos! What luck! I´ll let you know how the evening goes...


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