Back in Business – Off to the Galapagos Islands

We are back in the travel business, albeit taking truncated trips for a while. Our five week trip to South America that we were planning has been shortened to two weeks in the Galapagos. The dive trip to the islands that inspired Darwin was the impetus for our trip south so with the shortened itinerary it is the spot we will visit.

Here is where we are at.

Many months ago we decided if we are going to dive in the Galapagos the way to do it is on a live-a-board. Doing the research, we found it is better to book early as the trips can fill up as far as a year in advance. There are not many boats plying the waters so the research is reasonably easy. Of the three boats I found all were worth looking into. They all do basically the same thing, diving 3 to 5 dives per day with a couple of land based tours thrown in for diversity, all for about the same price. In the end we chose to dive with Galapagos Sky. We are offered a discount because we dove with one of her sister ships in the Maldives 18 months ago.

I emailed a bunch of our dive acquaintances from around the world and asked if anyone was interested in joining us. One fellow, R, whom we met on San Salvador last July said the islands had long been on his bucket list and this would be a perfect opportunity to put a line through it. We are now a small group of three.

Plane tickets are next. We were in the throes of purchasing tickets when our daughter took ill. As luck would have it we did not buy the tickets we were planning on or we would have had to suck up a few hundred dollars in order to make changes. We do purchase travel cancellation and interruption insurance but we usually wait until the monies we have put out are significant enough and we are no longer willing to absorb those costs.

Once we established that we would be able to slip out of the country for short periods of time we resumed sussing out plane tickets. We now have the long haul flights to and from Quito booked and our trip is taking shape.

It rounds out like this. We have one day in Quito prior to meeting up with the dive representative and flying to San Cristobal, in the Galapagos to board the Sky. I don’t imagine we will ever be in Quito again so we will have to have a good plan, go hard and see how much we can take in, in one day. We are a week on the boat, diving, sleeping and eating. Then at the end of the boat trip we will spend 5 days on two of the Galapagos islands touring the land and hopefully snorkelling with the seals.

We were going to make this trip less structured and not book too much in advance but since the scope has been downsized and the time we have is tight we are going to book the hotels in advance. Last week I researched hotels in Quito, in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal and in Puerto Ayroa on Santa Cruz. I found several that seemed to be the kind of place we would like to stay at. Smaller places that are (I’ll use the word again) funky.

Last night we emailed the hotels with a list of questions and expect to get a bunch of return emails over the next few days. We’ll then determine which hotels we are going to stay at and book them.

We are back in the travel business and we will be off to The Galapagos in a few months.

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