Nichola Edgecombe from Cruiseabout Tauranga joined a Gecko's "Galapagos at a Glance" tour. Join us as Nichola shares her once in a lifetime Galapagos Islands experiences ...
Galapagos Islands was somewhere I'd always wanted to visit. It's been on my bucket list for years and for anyone interested in wildlife I highly recommend this destination as being a must do!
The Galapagos Islands are an outstanding destination for so many reasons. The natural beauty of the islands and diversity of the wildlife make for a truly memorable experience. Each island is so very different, from the wildlife right down to the colour of the sand. Each place we visited offered something special, from a hike to the top of a volcano to an opportunity to explore the 100 year old lava flow where you could find an abundance of Sallylight Foot crabs and there were always a number of iguanas basking in the sunshine!
Arriving into the islands we were met by our Geckos tour leader for our "Galapagos at a Glance" tour, who over the next 7 days became such an important part of our journey. His knowledge and advice throughout the trip was outstanding. Nothing was ever too much trouble and the entire crew on board our boat knew so much about not only the wildlife but also the history of the islands and the plant life as well.
Visiting these islands on a larger ship just wouldn't give you the same experience as doing this on a small ship; our boat was small and intimate, which was exactly what I was hoping for. Any time we came into an island it was just perfect; with so few passengers disembarking it never took too long, which meant more time exploring the islands and spending time with the camera and the wildlife! Being a smaller group was also a great advantage for snorkeling and hiking as it was so much easier to stay together as a group and I felt that I really did get to make the most of every moment I had in the Islands.
Being such a special destination and one I will most likely never visit again I really did want to take advantage of my entire week. The food on board was excellent and I enjoyed seafood for the first time in my life on this trip. From breakfast through to dinner everything was excellent. Coming in from a snorkeling trip to be met with cookies and hot chocolate was just awesome, and again I couldn't say enough for the Gecko's crew on board, they really knew what we needed and when.
The most memorable moments of my week would be hard to narrow down as there are so many to choose from. The first time we saw an iguana lazing in the middle of the road and visiting Lonesome George were both pretty special as they really let us know where we were in the world. The sea lions on the park benches preventing us from sitting down after a long afternoon in the sun was an experience, as was the first blue footed boobie sighting, the frigate bird nesting area and snorkeling with the penguins, turtle's and sea lions who thought it was all a big game and insisted on swooping upon us, much to everyone's delight!
Thanks to Gecko's for a trip of a lifetime - one that couldn't have been more perfect in every way!