Galapagos Day 5

159 Guayaquil 20180621-_MG_1391
160 Guayaquil 20180621-_MG_1398

Another spectacular sunrise greets us this morning!  Breakfast and a short Panga ride take us to shore where we find a local to greet us!

This morning’s location is interesting because it is filled with graffiti!  Apparently, before the government of Ecuador took over the islands, travelers would come to this location and paint the cliffs with announcements of their arrivals!  As much as we frown on graffiti today, this has become a notable location specifically because of this.  The Ecuadorian Government has put a stop to this practice (Thank God!), but has not attempted to clean or remove any of the existing graffiti in an attempt to teach the hazards of allowing this.  The likelihood of this occurring again is slim because now all ships have to register to even come close to these islands and only approximately 72 ships can even approach the Galapagos under special permit.  This also helps control tourist damage to the islands.  We have been briefed on what we can and cannot do while here.

Back to the fun!  Most of us (minus my wife, who struggles with stairs, and a couple others with similar issues) hiked up plus or minus 100 steps and then continued uphill past many sights on our way to the top of the island.  You’ll see all of us celebrating arriving at the top!

Back down to the shore, we took photos as we waited for the Pangas to pick us up.  Then a Panga ride along the shore where we got into kayaks and did our own thing on the way back to the ship.  Take note of my “Mardi Gras Bird”!  Can you pick it out?

Back again to the ship and into our snorkel gear for another amazing adventure into the water!  Enjoy the visions of all the underwater sea creatures!  How about those Blue Spiny Sea Stars?

Back on board the ship and it’s not even lunchtime!  Kicking back up on top, watching the Frigate Birds flying with us again as we are underway to our afternoon destination.  Yes, that little red ‘gullet’ on that first flying bird inflates to that huge red ‘balloon’ during mating season!

Some more bird shots, even a food fight in mid-air!

After lunch, we arrive at our next snorkel destination, however the water looks rough.  Sure enough, visibility was so bad, the excursion was abandoned almost as soon as it started.  So the Pangas took us for a cruise along the shore.

Amazing wildlife, Pelicans, Boobies, Penguins and more greeted us.  Hey!  Wait!  Is that a cave?  Let’s check it out!  YES!  It’s a cave!  Take us in!  Please?  Wow!  This is sooooo cool!  The water is really calm inside the cave.  But back outside, it’s a totally different story!  What a fun trip!

Back on the ship, we are invited to visit the bridge and are asked to get dressed up, at least a little bit.  We find the Captain fine tuning his navigation to get to this exact point.  Where is it, you might ask?  Those ‘Zero’s’ indicate that we are on the Equator!

So our bartender mixed us all free drinks and we partied on the Equator!

Hey wait!  Who’s driving this thing?  What?  Drinking and driving?  Tell me it’s not so!  (Don’t worry, it’s not so!)

So at sunset, we all received our Equator Certificates (After performing certain tasks).  It seems that we were all given a character and had to act out the character!  I was an octopus and my wife was a tortoise!  Then we said goodnight to the evening!

See you in the morning!