The Land where Evolution is on Steroids!
New Research indicates that newer species evolve even within three generations!
I had first heard of the Galapagos Islands, in my science class of my elementary school in India, at around mid 1970’s. There were only three words stuck to my memories in this context: Darwin, Finch, and Galapagos Islands.
Few years later, I was in middle school, when I got very intrigued by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. I was not impressed by the theory, as I did not have any understanding of it; I only had heard about it from news articles and few library books.
What intrigued me instead was, the core theory, Survival of the Fittest. I wondered why such a “circular theory with no tangible value” would have such a great impact on Science, history and human-kind for 150 years, and shook the foundations of Religion across Globe! During next decade, I did manage to read The Origin of Species many times over. Every time I read it, in my mind, it answered some questions and raised more questions.
Fast forward 30 years, now in my 50’s in 2017, I had the huge opportunity of a life-time to walk the land that Charles Darwin walked in 1800’s! He published “The Origin” in 1859!
My wife Archana, two of my sisters, my cousin-in-law and her mom traveled to Ecuador and Galapagos Islands in Sep-2017. Love you Archana for painstakingly planning and coordinating the trip over 5 months and making our dream a reality and a fabulous experience. The detailed plan and itinerary of the trip can be found here.
This write-up is about our experience during our 10 days travel from Harrisburg. PA to Galapagos Islands.
Galapagos Islands, is collection 18 main islands and over 100 islets and land masses in pacific ocean 950 km west of Ecuador in Southern hemisphere.
Though Galapagos Islands belong to Ecuador, the Islands themselves are an autonomous province. Everyone international tourists as well as Ecuadorian nationals have to buy and carry a “Transit card”, which costs $20.00, while in Galapagos province. International tourists also pay a $100 National Park entry fee prior to taking the flight.
The transit card cost $20.00, which is expensive for most Ecuadorians, so most of them have NOT visited Galapagos Islands.
So, if you like nature, evolution, animals, birds, and fauna I highly recommend visiting Galapagos Islands at least once.
We traveled for 9 days, with 6 days in Galapagos Islands and two in Quito. It was an unbelievable and exhilarating experience!
Day 1 : 23 Sep 2017
After six hours flight from Atlanta, we landed in Quito Ecuador and checked into Hotel La Carthuja. A small but comfortable hotel in center of Quito. Next day on 24-Sep-2017 early morning we (party of six) took 2:30 hours flight from Quito to Galapagos after paying entry fee ($100.00 pp) and purchasing the “Transit Card” ($20.00 pp).
Landing in Santa Cruz island. Few pictures from the plane
Entering Airport Baltra of Galapagos Island after landing
At the Galapagos Airport after checking out
A bus picked all the tourists, for a 20 minutes ride from the shore of Porto Ayora to one of main island Santa Cruz. Another 20 minute Ferry ride was most spectacular welcomes to raw land of Galapagos.
Each Island we’ll go through, have their own unique landscape, fauna and birds, and animal species. First image of raw land embracing pacific ocean.
Raw solidified lava rocks meeting the crystal blue waters of Pacific.
After reaching San Cristobal, one of the two airports in Galapagos, we drove about 20 minutes before we checked into hotel Lobo de Mar.
Santa Cruz, is comfortable, tourist downtown, with cobble stone roads, lined with Hotels, Art & Antique stores, road side restaurants, and much more…
With rest of the day left with no specific plan, we refreshed and caught up drinks and lunch at roadside restaurant.
We started on trek along the ocean shore for exploration.
I’ll include picture and adventures from the trek in my next post.
Till then so long!