An Ecuadorean Christmas. Felt as weird as it sounds but getting to spend two weeks with family was far better than eating Christmas dinner in a hostel with a bunch of fellow ragamuffin backpackers.
The latest instalment of a Grant family vacation had us rendezvousing in the Quito airport at 5AM after enduring either 24 hours of flights and layovers, or several overnight busses. It made for a less than enthusiastic reunion even though we hadn’t all been together since a backpacking trip in August.
Two more short flights and we touched down in Puerto Ayora in the Galápagos Islands. Our home for the next week would be the Eden, a mighty vessel with room for 16 passengers which would make up our extended holiday family, complete with crazy aunts and immature cousins (this may or may not have been Mitch and I).
I’ll keep the rest of this to mainly pictures since the animals are the real reason people visit the Galapagos and our days were fairly regimented, not unlike being at summer camp. We got up early for breakfast, went ashore for an activity like snorkelling or hiking, returned to the boat for snack time before starting our next activity. Lunch was typically followed by nap time while we navigated to our next stop before repeating it all over again. We barely had enough free time to fit in happy hour, aka 6 of us crowded into one of our cabins drinking rum and boxed wine away from the watchful eye of the bartender. Pay $20 corkage for $6 wine in a box? I don’t think so.
So let’s have a gander at what the Galápagos Islands are all about.
A week in the Galápagos and a week in Quito afterwards sailed by (this post was lacking on ocean puns so there you go) but every moment with family was much appreciated. January will see us set up shop at the Secret Garden Cotopaxi hostel for the month. We passed up on volunteering there when we visited as guests in September but since we are back where we started we are going to take advantage of a volunteer oppurtunity where all we have to do is take guests on hikes, serve meals and keep the camp fire roaring.