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Sunday 5 Jan 2014
Isla San Cristobal, Ecuador

Farewell, Galápagos. It's been emotional...

The final morning dawned bright and sunny as we said our farewells to Queen Beatriz and her crew.  Fabian took us over to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno for a visit to the Galápagos Interpretation Centre, a relatively new exhibition centre paid for by the Spanish government, which tells the story of the islands, the climate, the geology, the wildlife and the people through a series of bilingual displays.  It didn’t take long to go through, but helped to cement some of the things Fabian had explained through his daily briefings and our island visits.

After that we drove up to the remains of the airport.  I choose those words deliberately.  As Galápagos is such a small place, there is a certain amount of jealousy between the islands.  Santa Cruz has a nice new airport at Baltra, so the people at San Cristóbal decided they wanted one too, deliberately destroying their old airport to force the necessity of a new one there, too.  The result is that they have started construction, but in the meantime all they have is a tunnel-shaped shed, open at both ends, with a few office-style partition walls in the middle.  We waited over an hour to check in as the flight before ours was running late.  They then stamped our passports, but told us we couldn’t go through security yet, so we waited almost another hour in the baking sun, trying to huddle into a dusty corner of the tunnel building for some shade.  When we eventually went through, it was to find another packed waiting room where the announcements were completely unintelligible and we had no idea which flight was being called.  We finally boarded some time later and had two smooth flights back to Quito via Guayaquil.  A final group dinner at the Argentinian place around the corner was the perfect way to finish off an amazing trip.

I may have waxed lyrical and gushed exaggerations about the beauty and wildlife of this tiny archipelago, but as you may have noticed, it left quite an impression on me.  Sharing it with my family made it all the more special.  It is supposed to be a trip of a lifetime to come here, but I suspect it might be somewhere that creeps back onto my travel list in another 10 or 20 years.  After all, I only went to the Southern islands.  There are still several more to explore...

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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #3 Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Travel blog by zobeedoo

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This is the big highlight of the year. Joined by my parents and reunited with Ailsa, we'll spend Christmas in Quito, then travel to Galápagos for New Year, celebrating in style with a week on the Queen Beatriz catamaran visiting the southern islands.

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