I had always imagined the Galapagos as a series of damp rocks in the middle of the ocean – Darwin poised atop one like the Little Prince – with animals bursting out of every pore. But the islands are actually pretty dam big and the animal presence is nominal. The differences are the complete lack of fear of humans and the ecodiversity. Just among the 5 Darwin’s finches that are hopping around our breakfast table, one can see evolution. A smaller beak here, tweaked colors there.
The second surprise is that most of the land mass is a volcanic wasteland. It’s a wonder anything lives here let alone such a diverse ecosystem. Think of Mars 1000 years before the last vegetation died. Once you get further into the islands there are pockets of vegetation, often around volcanic craters or other such formations.
Getting to the hotel required a plane, a bus, a water taxi, a regular taxi (really a pick-up truck), and another water taxi. The taxis are relatively cheap; everything else is damn expensive. It makes sense considering everything needs to be imported. Even cash is scarce. The ATM’s on our current island run out of money on Sundays and on others there is no way to get money at all.
And we have had some bad luck with our stuff. I lost my only warm top and Sarah her prescription sun glasses. Then my main camera lens stopped working. I’m down to a zoom and my iPhone. Boo!