Saturday, April 26, 2014

Galapagos Islands - Island San Cristobal

Kicker Rock
can i stay here forever?
       Today we took a two hour boat ride to the island of San Cristobal for the kicker rock - leon dormido tour.  It is this beautiful rock in the middle of the ocean, with great snorkeling spots.  We swam with sea turtles, and got to play with the sea lions in the water a few inches from us.  We also saw about 7 sharks a few feet away swimming by right under us.  Unfortunately, we don't have our scuba license the people who went scuba diving on our boat saw manta rays, and huge hammerhead sharks, about 20 of them swimming in a circle above them!
enjoying life

            At night we walked around the town running into people we have seen along our trip, and walking to sea lion beach, where there were hundreds of sea lions, everywhere, choosing their bed for the night.  It was pretty crazy.
lava beach

            The next day we went to three different beaches that were supposed to be really good for snorkeling.  The first one we swam with a baby sea lion.  It would swim up to us a few inches from our face, looking you in the eye then dip down under you playing.  It was so cute!
sea lion

             The next beach there was a few sea lions swimming right in the shore break so we went snorkeling with them and the last beach was just beautiful.  Lava rocks right on the beach, so many beautiful fish, lots of turtles and we saw a few sting rays.

sea lion beach at night

snorkel spot

sea lions

Galapagos Islands - Island Isabela


  We were told when trying to choose the different islands to cruise to, that this was a must do, so we had high expectations on our 2 day, 1 night tour.  We arrived, and went to this lake area where there were tons of beautiful bright pink flamingos, then we went to another turtle breeding center.

lava tunnels
         Later in the day we rented bikes, and biked about 3 hours around the hilly, sandy, rough terrain, to some great lookout points, and to the wall of tears, which was a wall made by prisoners "just because."  We also did some snorkeling later.
wall of tears
         The next morning we headed out on the boat bright and early for our tunnels tour.  We had to surf in on our boat these massive waves to the calmer part of a coral reef, which was breathtaking.  We got to sit on the top of the boat as we passed by iguanas, blue boobies, and large lava tunnels.  We then got in to snorkel with penguins, seahorses, giant turtles, puffer fish, giant lobster, octopus, white tip sharks, many beautiful fish, and we even saw some manta rays from our boat.  It was an amazing experience.



my turtle friend

puffer fish

Galapagos Islands - Santa Cruz

sea lion captain 
blue boobies
               We arrived in the Galapagos Islands after a 2 hour flight, 10 minute bus ride, to a 5 minute water taxi, to a 45 minute bus ride, and after paying our $100 non citizen entrance fee.  We now were on the island of Santa Cruz and it was beautiful.

salt mine

               The next day we did the island of Santa Cruz tour, and we went snorkeling and saw sea turtles sea lions, pelicans, blue and black footed boobies, large iguanas, crabs, and many beautiful fish.

              Later we did the highlands tour where we got to see volcanic craters, salt mines, lava tunnels and the gigantic tortoises in their natural habitat.  We also went to the Charles Darwin turtle breeding center later that evening.

                We went out that night and met these 6 guys from Sweden, that quit their jobs in engineering, bought a boat, and were traveling/sailing around the world for 24 months... two years!! (Mom you think I travel too long ;) I thought it was awesome!
2 year travelers!! 

fish dinner

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Barrio Las Peñas


                Today we arrived in Guayaquil, where it was super hot and humid.  We learned from reading about it and talking to others that there´s not much to see here, and we quickly realized this ourselves.  This was more of a layover spot for people traveling to and from the Galapagos Islands, which we were doing.  Our place was overlooking the water in the popular area of Malecon so we walked along the river to the cute and colorful neighborhood called, Barrio Las PeñasIt was a beautiful neighborhood with beautiful buildings and streets. 

Barrio Las Peñas

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Montañita, Ecuador


          Today when we got to Montañita after an 11 hour bus ride, we headed right out to explore the cute little beach, surfer town.  When we walked up and down the streets, we were happy to find it reminded us of Koh Phi Phi, Thailand, which we loved!  We grabbed some beers and chilled on the beach for a bit before headed back to get ready for the night.  As we were walking back, I heard someone call my name, I was shocked to see it was my good friend Jose, who I work with in NYC.  He was here visiting his family in Ecudaor for the week.  I couldn´t believe the timing, that we just happened to run into each other, especially since his family lives about 3 hours from Montañita. 
Jose and Sarah

night out
                At night we headed out and danced lots of salsa on the beach, then went to the popular club for the night.  It had started to rain, but it was hot out, so it was nice when the rain started coming down through the hut roof of the club.
            The next day we relaxed on the beach all day and I surfed for a bit at the end of the day.  I loved this place!


Day of Adventures- Baños Ecuador

volcano erupting at breakfast

           Today we woke up bright and early to go white water rafting.  At breakfast we were startled with a loud "BOOM," then we had realized it was the volcano erupting with smoke, which we had a perfect view of.  It was a pretty cool experience.

   It had rained all through the night, and I´ve never gone white water rafting so I was a bit nervous when I saw the speed of the water.  After going over safety instructions, we were in the water and zipping down the level 3 and level 4 rapids.  At one point we had to get out because there was a large hole and it would have been too hard for us to get through.  It was so much fun, we wish that we had booked it for the whole day and we really enjoyed the people we went with.

            After white water rafting for half the day, we signed up to go zipling through the jungle.  It was a total of 6 lines and 2000 meters long.  The longest zip we went on was over waterfalls and through trees and rocks, it was 550 meters long.  It was so beautiful, I loved it, and it was not as scary as when I went the first time.