Off to Galápagos
An early start to catch our flight to Galápagos, but the Furlongs team has made it as comfortable as possible by preparing luggage and flight boarding cards in advance. Richard heads out to Guayaquil Airport early and gets luggage through the Galápagos National Park scanners and checked while guests enjoy breakfast at our hotel. Dawn arrives at the airport with everyone about an hour before our flight and we fast track through to the departure gate – no queuing necessary!
The 90-minute flight takes us to the Galápagos Island of San Cristobal. In the arrivals terminal we proceed through Galápagos immigration and we’re soon met by some of our expedition team, including Gilda and Vanessa. Our expedition leader, Dr Lynn Fowler, is on our flight so we’ve already said hello. Local buses take us from San Cristobal Airport down to the waterfront. Here we experience our first taste of Galápagos wildlife. Sea lions are lazing about on the boardwalks and benches, and there are numerous colourful Sally Lightfoot Crabs on the rocks.
Rigid zodiac boats (called Pangas in Galápagos) come to meet us and we transfer to our ship, the National Geographic Islander. Captain Patricio and his crew and staff meet us, and we are welcomed on board. After settling into our cabins we meet in the lounge for our first briefing, which is followed by a delicious buffet lunch. Mid-afternoon we land on a beach at Cerro Brujo to look for marine iguanas, sea lions and shore birds. We are not disappointed! Pelicans, Blue Footed Boobies, Iguanas, plenty of Sea Lions, and we even spot the elusive San Cristobal Mocking Bird. The sunset isn’t bad either!
A wonderful first afternoon, complimented by our Captain’s Welcome Reception back on board ship, and a tasty dinner. Congratulations everyone. We are on the Galápagos Islands and our expedition has begun!