La Bella Crucita – To the Galapagos, Thursday 01/24/2019

“An exciting day Nilla.”

For sure Jackson.”

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“Not sure when we’ll be able to post.  It’s so early.”

“No choice, have to get to Guayaquil airport.”

Juan the taxista is on time and picks up the Ts at 4:45 AM and then to the base of the loma to pick up Aventurero.  The 6:00 AM shuttle is waiting for us in Manta, the lone passengers, the Trio gets an early departure from Manta on the way to Guayaquil airport.  The nearly three and a half hour trip costs $20.00 for each.  Once at the airport and having spoken with an Avianca ticket agent, the Trio learns that they have to wait in line for the mandatory Galapagos transit control card and pay the $20.00 fee each and then, have the bags pass through inspection prior to returning to the Avianca ticket counter to check the one bag.

Security is not overly busy.  On the other side of the screening station every national traveler has to pass through a gift/souvenir shop in order to proceed to the gates.

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The plane is on time and not crowded – the flight lasting about two hours.

Prior to landing the Ministro de los Galapagos sponsored film is shown – Mr. Jones a tourist and professional photographer talks with Miss Patricia, a Galapagos naturalist and guide to discuss island regulations.

“Isn’t that cute Jackson?”

“Cute and informative.”

What are the three flight attendants doing now?”

“They’re spraying the overhead compartments for insects – it explains it on one of the last pages of the Avianca magazine. First of the three opens the bin, the second sprays and the third closes the bin.”

‘A miniature spray parade.”

A smooth landing at Isla Baltra airport – a former US naval air station.  It claims to be the first eco-friendly airport in the world.

Once through the transit authority area, and paying the $100.00 park fee,  since the Trio is not part of a tour, they have to pay for a $2.50 – senior discount bus ticket to take them to the ferry.

“Nilla, did you see those one hundred dollar bills in the cashier’s drawer?  I thought the one hundred dollar bill was not accepted here.”

“Well Jackson, guess again.  Seems what we heard is incorrect.”

At the ferry dock, seals, sea lions and colorful crabs are basking in the sun on the rocks – absolutely ignoring the passengers.  One dollar pays for the very short ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island where taxis await eager tourists, impatient to begin exploring these fascinating islands.

Forty kilometers to the town of Puerto Ayora and the hostals, a $25.00 fare.  Hostal Estrella de Mar is tucked away on a side street, cute, clean and basic.

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img_4246While the credit card confirmed the reservation for the two rooms, credit cards are not accepted for payment, in fact credit cards are generally not accepted on this island nor Isabel Island, the Trio’s next destination.

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More crabs – these on the rocks beneath the hostel

ATMs are located not too far from the hostal.  The three are advised that there are no ATMs on Isabel Island, bring plenty of cash for everything!

Arranging and paying for the ferry ride to Isabel Island is next on the agenda – lots of agents in town ready sell tickets for the 2:00 PM ferry tomorrow, which gives the three time to explore Puerto Ayora and go see the Darwin Center nearby.  Ferry tickets – $30.00 each.  The town is busy and noisy.

Hungry and tired – need to get something to eat, grab some water and then back to the hostal to rest.  It’s early but already a long day for everyone.

“Nilla, did you see that?”

“Jackson, don’t you know that every room should have its gecko?”

“Tomorrow we’ll post something about the Galapagos, it’s late now and the internet is slow here.”

“Good night.”

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