I had in my mind a very exclusive couple of islands with lots of rules that are visited by wealthy natureloving tourists. Yes there is that element of tourist but refreshingly the prices of food, accommodation, tours etc were actually quite reasonable and there were a lot of backpackers visiting. So! To all budget travellers out there who have always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands but thought that it would be obnoxiously expensive I say - GO. Its awesome, incredible, totally unique and surprisingly not that expensive. Once again - GO!
I thoroughly enjoyed the wildlife. This enjoyment began as we first sailed into the islands and caught an 8kg yellowfin tuna! Admittedly, from a conservation standpoint, this is not the most appropriate way to enjoy wildlife and actually its downright illegal to fish in the national park without a licence. However! It was delicious. And we enjoyed it. And no one caught us. Which made it even more delicious.
We anchored the boat on the beautiful San Christobel island. Envision a long-extinct volcano covered in pale green scrub and fringed by alternating rocky promontories and white sandy beaches. With sea lions everywhere. On the beaches, on the rocks, on the pier, on the main road. Everywhere. We had the pleasure of a sea lion residing on Skimpy's back step for our entire stay. What was initially a thrill to have a real, live sea lion living with us quickly soured when we discovered that they smell terribly and are prone to making the most appalling noises. Are you aware that sea lions spend their nights making sounds resembling a drunk vomiting? This is certainly not mentioned in nature documentaries. Well, now you know.
Visualise the following scene-
(Midnight. Skimpy at anchor. The silence broken by the noise- UrrrrBLAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!)
SIMON (awakens): What is that jolly outrageous noise coming from the back of the boat? WOW! One of my shipmates must be vomiting! HA! And he only drank a couple of beers! HA! Where is my camera.
SIMON (tiptoes to back step of boat. Discovers sea lion): This is very disappointing.
SEA LION: UrrrrrrrBLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Which brings me of course to the boobies. They were everywhere! Different sizes, different shapes, even different colors! They truly are beautiful birds. I love boobies.
The boat full of supplies, us buzzing with excitement (yet disconcerted that we had been gloriously unsuccessful at seducing any of the local ladies before such a long passage) and finally free of vomiting sea lions we set off into the blue in search of land.