Thursday, July 23, 2015
While touring the city, we said a prayer in the Guayaquil cathedral on Wednesday. We thanked God for all of our blessings on this 18 day journey. The support at home from our family, friends and amazing neighbors reduced the worry of being gone so long.
The trip was challenging, sometimes strenuous and very foreign in so many ways. We are safe, healthy and little wiser.
A fairytale ending indeed!
Thanks for following along.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 6:31 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Our flight to Guayaquil was packed and we had a real third-world experience with humans, up close and personal.
Back in the lap of luxury at the Oro Verde hotel, 10 remaining travelers met for martinis and dinner in the lobby. A quiet, still and comfy king size bed was a real treat!
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 10:27 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A nice walking path, leading to the beach front, meandered around wildlife and graceful flamingos. It was fun to see hotels, restaurants and waterfront homes.
It didn't take us long to find an Internet cafe. Everyone buried their heads in personal devices and caught up with life over a coke or beer.
Back on the Beagle, the sails were raised for an afternoon journey to our final destination: Santa Cruz. We had an especially lovely white-tablecloth dinner and champagne as we reminisced about an amazing week of exploration and friendship.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 8:35 AM
After the snorkel, a group went hiking on shore over a strenuous lava rock climb. I decided to chill on the yacht with a group of beer-drinking-lazy-bones friends. It's been a busy and challenging trip.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 8:16 AM
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Yellow jacket bees and wasps were everywhere. It was hard for me to keep it together when a swarm was nearby. I got stung on my baby finger and it hurt like hell. I had no interest in the hunt for creatures among the distracting bees.
After a quick swim, with turtle and penguin sightings, we were back on the Beagle and enjoyed fruity cocktails, wine, dinner and lots of laughs while cruising to Elizabeth Bay.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 8:59 AM
Saturday, July 18, 2015
We then suited up for a snorkel and shared the spot with giant sea turtles, sea lions, flightless cormorants and all sorts of beautiful fish. It was a magical morning.
As we cruised south on Isabela's northwest coast, the group on deck spotted an orca whale followed by another thrill, a sperm whale! So exciting.
We anchored at Tagus Cove and some of us took kayaks for a spin before our hike to Darwin Lake. It was good to stretch our legs and climb past the scenic vistas. The graffiti left by generations of pirates and whalers was unsightly but curious, with the oldest scribble dating back to 1836.
After a spaghetti dinner, we did some Southern Hemisphere star gazing before falling fast asleep. What an amazing day!
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 7:49 AM
Friday, July 17, 2015
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 10:17 AM
After lunch on the boat we retuned to the shores of Santiago for snorkeling. The water wasn't as clear as Genovesa, but a beautiful variety of fish provided great entertainment.
The captain raised the sails on the Beagle for the first time and we spent the afternoon cruising over to Isabela Island. Back in the Southern Hemisphere, we had a lazy day of sailing.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 8:21 AM
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 10:34 PM
There were so many birds! We were delighted to see plenty of red-footed boobies. We saw eggs, babies, juveniles, moms and dads. So cute. The creatures showed no fear of humans and allowed us to get up close and personal.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 10:26 PM
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The crew provided a warm welcome and a thorough logistical briefing of boat life. The six couples settled into their private cabins, changed clothes and gear for island exploration then enjoyed a light fish stew while cruising.
A wet landing put us on the most populated island of the Galapagos, Santa Cruz. We were immediately greeted by blue-footed boobies, a variety of fearless crabs, iguana and one beautiful, sun-bathing flamingo. We walked the beach in awe as our guide spoke.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 4:07 PM
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 7:19 AM
Monday, July 13, 2015
The group was allowed to sleep in today as we are having a late breakfast followed an excursion into the village for lunch.
We are packing for a late afternoon departure back to Quito for the night and to collect our checked bags at the hotel. We were only allowed one small bag for the jungle trip.
Then off to the Galápagos Islands we go!
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 8:03 AM
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Our group went on an expedition to visit the village shaman. The kind old man, learning his craft from previous generations in his family, spoke of the resources available from indigenous plants to treat and often cure disease in his village.
The more I learn about plants and their inherent gifts, the more I am convinced that the essence extracted can provide a powerful remedy.
I packed a little first aid kit for this trip including some useful and multi-purpose oils. Even my most doubting husband has a new-found respect for plant-based therapeutic options.
While most of the group is using the very dangerous bug repellent, deet, in the jungle, I'm using a naturally derived blend of essential oils with seemingly the same success.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 1:57 PM
We were both a little reluctant to go on a night hike in the jungle, but somehow we decided that together we can do this; and we did!
In the canoe, the stars above were simply majestic. A caiman hiding in the weeds, with glowing eyes peering out at us, scared the heck out of us as he bolted away from the approaching canoe. With hearts pounding, we entered the jungle with our husbands and two guides. It was pretty cool. We still haven't seen an anaconda, but we did see a tarantula, among other creepy crawlers.
A life-changing trip for all!
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 1:21 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2015
After a muddy hike in the forest, we came upon a gigantic tree parallel to a scaffolding-like structure with 204 stairs leading to the canopy of the rainforest.
Climbing with binoculars and cameras, we were all excited to be right where we were.
Three independent enthusiasts had been on the platform since 4:00am. They had scopes and mad skills for spotting. We saw some beautiful creatures, including amazing flora.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 4:33 PM
It was a terror filled day hiking near our lodge, beautiful sunset and fun hearing other stories, including piranha fishing success from some teens.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 6:21 AM
Friday, July 10, 2015
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 3:57 PM
We are departing at 5:45am for Coca. Then we have a three hour motorized canoe ride on the Napa River followed by a 15 minute walk on a path through the jungle to the Yacu River and a short trip by paddle canoe to the Sani Lodge. Whoa. Jim said pack light and be prepared to be wet all the time.
Posted by K.F.Rogers at 12:22 AM