Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Leaving the Galápagos: Day 5

On the 5th and final day of our trip, we woke up and had breakfast, just like every other day. We spent about 30 minutes packing up our stuff, which was strewn all across the hotel room. Andrew and I had been running the air conditioning non stop at 18* Celsius since we got there, so the room always felt like winter. This helped our clothes dry faster, but the wet socks from the day before were still damp.

Once we were all ready to go we piled into the van and headed towards Los Gemelos. Los Gemelos were described as craters, but in actuality were just enormous sink holes. The holes are next to each other, in between the main road on Santa Cruz, and are filled with vegetation. We only spent a few minutes at each hole, just taking pictures and talking. Once back in the vans, we headed towards the airport. Andrew and Cara were in a separate van with some German tourists who were on our tour because there wasn't enough room in the main van.

The second van beat us to the ferry landing and Kristine and I waited with the others for the second boat to go. Once we got across to Baltra we had to wait another 15 minutes for the bus to leave for the airport. By the time we got there Andrew and Cara were already checked in and ready to go, but as we got in the check in line we had to wait for about 40 minutes before anyone moved.

Now with just a few minutes before boarding, we sat around waiting to go. I wasn't in First Class again, but I was sitting next to Kristine, so I was happy I'd have a friend to talk to. Also, the three others would be continuing on to Quito and I was getting off in Guayaquil, so this would be our last chance to talk. The flight took over an hour, and when we got to Guayaquil I said my goodbyes quickly and got off the plane.

My plan was to spend the night in Guayaquil to see the sights finally, but when I called up my friend Craig he was already at work, so I just decided to head back to Cuenca. It was a long day of travel, but I finally got into Cuenca after 8 o'clock. And the trip was over, but it was one hell of a time. In total, we spent $630 for the package, which included round trip airfare, hotel, food, guided tours, and airport pickup and drop off. We changed a day excursion which cost $50 more, and had to rent snorkel gear each day for $2.50 (or $5 with flippers). We also had to pay for our own drinks, which were expensive on the island. The prices of everything in the Galapagos are more expensive than anywhere else in the country because it all has to be imported.

The park entrance for foreigners would be $100, but we only had to pay $6 with our Ecuadorian IDs. So we spent a lot of money, but in turn, it was a lot for the value. And we all agreed that if we only go to the Galapagos Islands once in our lives we might as well make it worth it. It's a trip that everyone should be so lucky to take.

Above: Andrew and I at Los Gemelos (he leaned down to make me look tall), Los Gemelos

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