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.
Then 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.
We 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.