I thought I would just start this entry with a sneak peek of our trip to the Galapagos Islands. Much more to come. :)
After taking an overnight flight from Ecuador, we eventually arrived back at our RV mid-morning of Monday, December 19. We took that day to rest and recuperate from the hours of travel, and then we took the next day, Tuesday, to start getting back into the swing of things. Several Rally registrations came in while we were gone, and the 2017 Spring Rally is now sold out. We will establish a Waiting List in the next couple of days.
Each night of our trip in the Galapagos, I went through all the photos from the day and tried to keep up on saving the best and deleting the rest. Still, I just uploaded 1,883 pictures to our online SmugMug galleries. And I have 208 videos to go through, edit, and upload. We snorkeled almost every day (sometimes twice), and Linda & I both videoed underwater. It will be a long time before I get all the videos uploaded.
In summary, our trip to the Galapagos was an amazing adventure. I will post the details of our days and backdate the entries to the dates the activities occurred. We had anywhere from three to five activities (walks, hikes, snorkels, Zodiac rides, kayaking) every day, and there is a lot to show you. This was no "cruise" in the ordinary sense - this was an active, see-as-much-as-we-can-see immersion in the islands. The small ship traveled at night while we were sleeping most of the time, and each morning we were anchored and ready to start the next day's excursions early.
For thirteen full days and two half-days, Linda & I participated in every activity made available to us (well, Linda skipped one deep-water snorkel toward the end and a very early morning island landing on our last day), and we saw the majority of the animal species available to see in the Galapagos. In addition to the animals, there are unique landscapes, and beautiful, clear-water beaches (with no condos, restaurants, vendors, or crowds), but it is the animal behavior and the fact that you can get so close to them that makes the Galapagos extra special.
The rules in the Galapagos state that you are to maintain a distance of about six feet from the animals. In some cases, that is impossible as the animals are on the trails leaving you little room to go around and sometimes they approach you. You are also not allowed to touch the animals, and everyone in our groups was observant of that rule, although we (or the wildlife) often broke the six-foot spacing requirement.
More photos, videos, and details coming soon. In the meantime, here is a little teaser video of one of our special wildlife interactions.