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Tuesday 31 Dec 2013
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Feliz Año Nuevo!

The crew served our dinner early tonight so the captain could race us up to Santa Cruz and the town of Puerto Ayora.  This port town is home to almost half the human population of the Galápagos islands.  As it was New Year’s Eve, it was playing host to many more and they were already out in the streets.  There were two big stages set up with huge sound systems.  The main stage had some obnoxious bloke screeching in Spanish to try and get the crowd going, so we got out of there quickly and found a quieter bar along the seafront.  I was still a bit dehydrated and tired from the day’s activities, so it took me a while to get into the swing of things.  Half the group finished their drinks and moved on, but the rest of us didn’t know where they had gone so ended up walking back down toward the noisy square.  We tried a couple of places but they all seemed to be closing in time for midnight, so we were stuck in the street wondering what to do next.  Luckily, Lucia and Jacky found us and took us back to the Bongo Bar where everyone else was out on the balcony deck.  We got the beers in just in time to count down to midnight with everyone else and watch the fireworks going off around the town. 

The Ecuadorian tradition is to set fire to a large papier maché figure at midnight, something which represents the last year (often a politician or film character), in order to put the year to rest and start fresh with the New Year.  We saw the remains of several fires as we walked through the smoky streets back to the jetty at 1.30am.  We watched a young sea lion playing in the water while we waited for our panga.  He’d got a bit of rope and was flipping it about and rolling in the water with it.  He also chased a shark off with a friendly nip on the tail.  There was even a big stingray cruising about.  This was way better than trying to catch a taxi home after a city night out!

It was brilliant to be able to welcome in the New Year with some of the most important people in my life.  Mum, Dad, Ailsa, thank you sooooo much for coming to Ecuador on this great adventure.  It meant the world to me to have you there, xxx

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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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