Smith Photos

 

Galapagos

February/March, 2010

Click here to view a slide show of some of the pictures that we took.

Steph and Ian visited Galapagos in March, 2010 with Celebrity and followed with a visit to Peru.

We drove to Seattle and then flew to Quito, Equador where we stayed for two nights at the first of many luxurious hotels that were included in the cruise itinerary. Although Quito was not my favourite city, the hotel and restaurants more than made up for it. A tour of Quito gave us a picture of life in Equador and a better idea of how the Spain and, in particular, their Catholic missionaries modified the culture in South America so much.

KurlyThen off to the Galapagos and the Celebrity Xpedition cruise ship for seven days. What a great adventure. The Galapagos is like a labratory for evolution - the 13 (major) islands are similar and yet very different. You see the same animals on many but they have evolved to suit the terrain and available food on their particular island.

Most days consisted of morning and afternoon walking excursions to see nine of the islands, followed by re-boarding refreshments and a social hour before dinner. We met many new friends and spent many hours with wine, food, and lively conversation.

The second part of the trip was a originally to be a visit to Machu Pichu but, unfortunately, there had been flooding there just before we left and the site was closed. Instead we were taken on a 4 hour bus ride down the coast from Lima to the Nasca Lines where we flew over the lines for an hour to see what the native people had built centuries ago. It is amazing to see what they did, but not worth an 8 hour round trip in a hot, dusty bus. The hotel that we stayed at, however, almost made it worth the trip - the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection hotel.

incaWe did get to visit the Sacred Valley and Cuzco and were completely captivated by the culture and capabilities of the Inca civilization. The two things that stand out for me was the sheer size of the empire and their ability to hew stone blocks out of the mountains and carve them to fit so precisely. And how did they manage to move them considering that they had not discovered the wheel?!

We flew back overnight from Lima to Seattle and then by car home. It was a very long trip, but worth it.