Christmas in the Galápagos

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.

“No offence”

“None taken”

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.

Last Grant family gathering on the BC coast
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.

The Galápagos Islands, our week long voyage would tour us around the eastern islands

Red footed Boobie in a bush
Baby Boobie
 

The most common Galápagos sighting…a herd of Zoomlensed Gringos
Two Nazca Boobies squaring off at sundown
Boobie paradise

Early morning arrival at Bartolome Island
Galápagos Penguin
Pinnacle Rock, artistically textured courtesy of the US Navy’s target practice
Group shot photobombed by the creature on Fraser’s head
Bartolome Island and Sullivan Bay
Unimpressed by the lanky blonde invading his island
Stoked on lava
Whack-a-mole

Blue Footed Boobie sighting. The trip is officially a success
Land Iguana….the naming committee went all out for this guy
Not sure why but I expected the Galápagos to be luscious and green everywhere….boy was I way off
Giant Tortoises…
…they’re about this tall…
…are fierce warriors…
 

…and have faces only a mother could love
 
Taste the rainbow
Marine Iguana showing how much he doesn’t care about camouflaging with his surroundings…smug little prick
Baby Sea Lion
How cute is that?
Almost as cute as these two

A blowhole doing what it does best
Really trusting whoever told us “they’re not dangerous”
Christmas Eve on a beach. Santa is going to have to make quite a detour to deliver Mitch his My Little Pony play set
Found a Christmas tree! Roxy will drink to that
El Capitan spreading some holiday cheer
Good ol’ aunt Helen, not missing a single moment
Family dinner

Action shot of Fraser and Mitch taken shortly after the Christmas Eve buffet
Christmas Day cruising back to port
A royal escort

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.  

That’s a wrap!
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4 thoughts on “Christmas in the Galápagos

  1. Darwin really had to get the old medulla oblongata twisted to invent evolution after seeing all those boobies……….Hardly an impressive feat.

    And minus 10 points to Gryffindor for failing to photograph someone riding a giant tortoise. Legal or not, we all know at least one of you did it.

    Like

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