Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Touching down on Planet Galapagos

Five years ago I took a couple of months out to do a whirlwind trip to South America. Mainly I had dreamed of seeing the animals on Galapagos Islands and hiking in the high altitude mountains of the Andes. This is the continuation and retelling of that journey. Kris

I just came back from the Galapagos Islands and they were more incredible than I could have ever imagined. The five day boat tour with a group of fellow Aussies meant we got to live close to nature, as well as interact with the plethora of unique Galapagos animals.

I was fortunate enough to get the naturalist expert of the group in my boat cabin who had chronic diarrhea; lovely at all hours of the night in a confined space. Michelle the naturalist expert is joining me on the rest of my Gecko’s trip too. She says things like “WOW, look at that [insert complex latin name] group of birds”. She also corrects the guide. Needless to say she wasn’t very popular, but I’m sure she has some redeeming qualities and I’ve got 35 days with her to work out what they are.

I scored the top bunk and it took me a couple of days to cement the fact that I couldn’t sit up on my bed without causing a mild concussion. So the last few nights I slept solo in the beautiful open air on the top deck, luxuriating on a banana lounge in my sleeping bag; the starry sky was incredible and I was in the perfect position for my final sunrise.

The start of the boat tour was really warm and we visited the giant turtles first up – they are so mellow, soulful and motionless. One beautiful old girl seemed either attracted or repulsed by my brightly coloured thongs and moved pretty swiftly to try and bite my toes off. That, or turtles have a strange foot fetish. You can sit right beside them and just hang out, simply listen to them breathe. It’s a very surreal animal encounter.

That night we cruised away from the main island to arrive at one of the outer islands by sunrise; waking up to a black volcanic island with red soil, cactus forests and beaches covered in sea lions. Add to that a huge amount of fish in the turquoise water below, with giant birds soaring overhead, and you can imagine how the whole landscape can be very humbling and inspiring. It’s the perfect place to get introspective.

Each day on board went something like this; huge breakfast followed by a new island to explore while snorkelling amongst some playful sea lions, iguanas and sharks, not to mention hundreds of beautifully coloured tropical fish. Even with wetsuits on you couldn’t stay in the water too long. Then a massive lunch back on the boat followed by a siesta and a new place to snorkel after that. The evenings were all about eating, sunset on the deck and chilling out. There wasn’t any partying going on as everyone was pretty subdued from each day.

So now I have a new love of birds, sea lions have stolen my heart, and I’ve realised that the more time I spend in natural places the happier and more content I am within myself. Nature is definitely my Church. I can’t really describe how surreal the Galapagos environment is; I can only show you with photos.

It’s a place that remains in my Top 5 favourite destinations.

Kris

If you like the idea of this tour check out Gecko’s Adventure options to the islands.

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