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Where everyone learns Photoshop - National Association of Photoshop Professionals
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Entries in wildlife (4)

Monday
Jul052010

Travel to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

This article is one that I wrote as a guest blogger for the folks at www.OneTravel.com a few weeks back.

I love the ocean and I love animals too so scuba diving is pretty much heaven on earth for me, scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands...the Holy of Holies. I had the privilege of traveling there with my wife to scuba dive and I’ll never forget our experience. We flew from Los Angeles to Guayaquil Ecuador which is the largest city in Ecuador and located in the Guayas province. We stayed at the Continental Hotel there which overlooked a beautiful park literally loaded with large, friendly iguanas and an old cathedral just behind it.



The people there were incredibly friendly but didn’t speak much English so I had to rely on some very rusty high school Español to help us get around. We were fortunate to have a restaurant in our hotel that offered authentic Ecuadorian cuisine which we quickly became addicted to. Seafood and pork are popular in many dishes as are plantains. One uniquely Ecuadorian dish is Cuy pronounced "kwee". Cuy is actually Guinea Pig. Needless to say, we never tried that dish.

The Galapagos Islands are over 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean requiring a flight to get there. Once we had arrived there and while we were waiting at the dock to board our boat, a baby sea lion waddled over to where my wife was standing and gently laid its head on top of my wife’s foot seemingly using it as a pillow to rest on. Naturally, all the women standing nearby swooned. We would soon learn that this unabated interaction with wildlife would be the earmark of our trip.



From our boat chartered by Aggressor Fleet, we motored from island to island, ate, slept, relaxed, watched movies, and most importantly went scuba diving. Nearly every day we had 4 dives. The service on-board could not have been better. The food was always fresh, healthy, and very filling. Although the waters surrounding the outlying islands were extremely rough, we experienced a variety of animal encounters I could not imagine gaining exposure to all at one time anywhere else.

In literally one day, we encountered, dolphins, pilot whales, a 40+ foot whale shark, dozens of moray eels, tropical fish, schools of hammerhead sharks, silky sharks, galapagos sharks, sea turtles, sea lions, spotted eagle rays, lobster, breaching sting rays, blue and red footed boobies, and black tip sharks. On other days, we also encountered penguins, sea horses, and huge tortoises. We captured this trip, topside and underwater, in a calendar that is available on our site.

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