Sunday, October 30th ~ Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Day 5 ~ This was our last full day on the ship. Although I enjoyed Floreana, it was my least favorite of the islands we visited on our itinerary. Still a few fun memories, but not the WOW factor we experienced earlier.
POST OFFICE BAY
The day did start out with a brief panga ride to scan the shoreline and then a wet landing to visit Post Office Bay on Floreana Island.
Post cards had been provided for any who wanted one so that they could write a note and then deposit it at the local “post office”. No stamps are required!
The tradition is that you place your post card in the barrel, and then each passing ship, stops and the passengers read the addresses and decide if they live close enough to personally hand-deliver the post card to the intended recipient.
Having a strong voice, I agreed to be one of the “readers” and hollered out the city/state/country where each of the waiting postcards (from previous ships) was headed. We had a diverse group, and soon many of the passengers volunteered to take one or more cards off to far-flung destinations around the world including Australia, Germany, Canada, Norway and the USA.
Tim and I now have three to bring home with addresses in Laguna Hills, Sherman Oaks, and North Hollywood, California. I’ll let you know if any of the delivery events turn out to be remarkable…
Time for a walk on the beach or some snorkeling before returning to the ship for lunch.
Following lunch and a short siesta, we again had a choice to explore the underwater wonders around Champion Islet, an extinct shield volcano, regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots in the entire archipelago (or) take to the pangas and glass-bottom boat. As tempting as it was, with the water much clearer here, it was just too rough for me, and we once again opted for the glass bottom boat.
We also took the opportunity to visit the bridge in the afternoon.
Next up, it’s a wet landing on the olivine crystal beach at Cormorant Point. An easy walk brought us to a brackish water lagoon where we spotted another on the list of the Big 15, the greater flamingos. Granted they were quite some distance from us, so the picture is anything but extraordinary, but we did get to see them in the wild.
A bit further up the trail we had a lovely lookout to further take in the lake and surrounds.
Walking on across the island, an easy path brings us to a beach where sea turtles seasonally emerge from the sea at night to nest. It was clearly marked where we could or could not walk so as to not disturb where the eggs were buried.
Enjoying our last few moments at the beach, trying to soak up the memories.
Our farewell dinner was casual, but warm and full of chatter. Rica charmed our wait staff into combining tables so that ten of our “Albatross” group could enjoy a final meal together. Common denominator was that the trip was a HUGE success, the animals and birds were spectacular to view in their natural environment, and a hope that the islands will be preserved for many generations to enjoy.
We also ALL agreed that we had been fortunate to have landed the BEST naturalist guide of the group – Roberto!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for having this extraordinary opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands. There are several factors that can rule this trip out for the masses, including distance, high cost, fear of the unknown, health issues, and only a limited number of visitors are allowed each year. But, and I know this is a BIG BUT, if you have the means, time and ability to get here, I sincerely hope that you have a trip of a lifetime. I will forever be grateful that we could experience all of this together.
A huge thank-you to all of you who have followed our journey through the Galapagos Islands. I know that these posts were long and jam-packed with probably far too many pictures. I hope that we have motivated some of you to add this remarkable, remote and magical place to your bucket list!