Travel Diaries: Lost In The Galapagos Islands
For six days, I embarked on my first adventure to South America to explore the old stomping grounds of Charles Darwin by boat on the new Santa Cruz II and get lost in vibes of the Galapagos islands.
I had little to no cell service and shitty wifi for days on in, and my wine levels were at their all time lowest! Alcohol on a cruise ship is super expensive! $14 for a glass of wine, yea right! Here’s what happened when I got shipwrecked in paradise and became one with Charles Darwin for a few days.
Day 1 on the ship was exciting.
I never been on a boat like the four level boat like Santa Cruz II before so the experience was very new for about six hours. There were like 100 people including tourist and the ship crew members on my voyage. I wasn’t even on board for five minutes, when I quickly noticed the wifi signal was shiity. Here we go. During this three hour trip, we received our welcome introductory briefing (where they split us into groups named after the endemic wildlife on the Galapagos- I was in the “boobies” group, went through a boat drill, followed by lunch in the dining hall of the boat, located on the bottom level. Features of the boat included, a gym with a view of the ocean of course, 2 jacuzzis, 2 dryers to dry your bikinis and wetsuits, a panorama deck, two libraries, three floors of long hallways with cabins or rooms, plus a reception area, a gift shop and a bar room. It’s like the boat version of the the Aloft or Sheraton. Once I quickly toured the boat on my own, the Expedition Leader got on the intercom speaker and asked everyone to “please wear shoes and life vests” before disembarking from the ship to inflatable plastic zodiac boats. Apparently, a lot of people on this ship needed help with trying to decide what shoes wear.
The first island we landed on was North Seymour Island. It took three hours to get there from Balta Island (the airport island) and 3 minutes to see everything the island had to offer: Blue Footed Boobie Bird and Marine Iguanas.
For each island tour, The guides make the tours sound really interesting by telling stories about tourists who went off who went off the path. They also make sure to say “endemic to the galapagos” in every explanation. It’s probably written in their contract.
Day 2: I explored two islands.
I wore a bikini most of the journey there and napped. This is what my world/ room looked like for six days straight. Constantly in motion.
Day Two of shitty wifi and more blue footed boobies took place on Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela Island) and an afternoon sail to Punta Espinoza (Fernandina Island). At 7 A.M every morning, the Expedition Leader woke everyone on the cruise ship up with an announcement through the ship’s intercom that lead directly to ship “hotel rooms” that you couldn’t turn off. “Buenos Días Cabineros, es Las Siete de La Mañana and desayuno está listos,” he would say every morning.
I also did a lot of hiking.
This is Darwin’s Lake where the theory of evolution was said to be studied and discovered. There’s nothing living on this island because the lake is not drinkable. It’s too salty.
Here’s a pair of crabs mating, if you’re into that sort of thing. The female is obviously the one running away.
There’s flamingos on Isabela Islands.
On Day 3 and 4, I spent most of the day underwater dodging sea lions and sharks.
You basically jump off a boat and swim around the corals and edges of the islands. The farther you swim out the deeper and darker the water gets.
On the night of day 4, I got really sea sick.
By Day 5, I was anxious to get off that fucking boat. Literally. When we sailed from Isabela Island to Santa Cruz, I lost so much sleep and patience because the boat was violently rocking all night. I thought I was going to die. I documented my 2am rant on twitter under #DarwinConfessions. I had like three drinks at the bar that night and lost my balance walking back to my cabin. On the way back to my cabin, I got the grand idea to go to the front of the boat to see just how fast we were sailing. I also wanted to see if I could spot any sharks in the water like the other cabin members said to look out for around the boat edges. It was so windy I could hardly open the door to the front of the boat. We were bumping along the waves at a speed of like 20 mph according to the feed on my snapchat (which was obviously wrong) and sailing the opposite direction of the current. This made me incredibly nauseous. I wasn’t wearing a patch and was also tipsy, so I basically went to the front of the boat to torture myself so I could feel something after being stuck in summer camp.
So I decided to go to a luxury eco hotel when we arrived to Santa Cruz Island on Day 5.
I still had to take a water taxi to get to this luxury boutique hotel. Also, it was day 5 and still no black people sightings.
But when I arrived on solid and steady ground, I still got straight into another body of water!
Here I am trying not to go crazy at The Finch Bay Hotel!
After the shortest stay at a hotel ended, it was time to meet up with the other cruise members.
They made me take a two mile dangerous bike ride to a farm, but I was rewarded with moon shine. Here’s the tub and the guy who spends his time making moon shine.
So I had no choice but to make the best of my situation by drinking moonshine in 95 degree weather. “Okay, so now we are going to take a short tour around the Sugar Cane plantation,” announced the expedition leader. “Ughhh nope! I’m out of breath at the moment and way too overheated. So I’ll just stay here drinking my moonshine.” I didn’t want to take a “short tour” dripping sweat, covered in patches of water from the bird bath I had to take in the farm’s makeshift bathroom. I wanted to sit my ass down and drink my moonshine. However, Me and this other girl went down a short path hill to actually see how the farm’s owner made the moonshine.
After a few shots, everything looked like this:
By Day 6, I was tired of the bad wifi, but SO appreciative of my cruise through paradise.
By the end of journey through the Galapagos, I was eager to finally be leaving the boat in less than 10 hours at that point, but I was definitely going to miss all the blue water paradise I manifested.