We don't want to go!

Added 02 Dec 2012

Sunrise finds us at anchor off the coast of Baltra Island. After an early breakfast we vacate our cabins so the crew can ­prepare for the next guests. Our expedition leader Lynn invites us to the lounge to enjoy a film about Galapagos made by Alan Alda (MASH) with Lynn "appearing" as a local expert guide. Since Richard has seen the film (many times!), he sneaks out and visits a couple of new boats that have come into harbour. He likes to keep up to date with what's on offer. He comes back satisfied that the National Geographic Islander remains definitely the best ship in town!

Our last panga ride is from ship to shore. The "new" dock is broken, so we're using some old steps and need to take care as they are slippery. Our guides and panga drivers do well but it's obvious some of the other boats disembarking this morning haven't trained their guests so well. As usual the Furlongs team jump in to help. From the dock a local bus runs shuttles to the airport which is just a few minutes ride. There are quite a few ships disembarking so the dock is busy with guests awaiting the bus transfer. Richard and Dawn carefully position their guests so we can intercept the first bus - naturally. Arriving at the airport we have flight boarding cards prepared and our luggage is already taken care of so we can do some last minute shopping. We've reserved use of the VIP lounge for the few minutes prior to boarding but it appears very shut. There's no lights and no one is answering the door bell or telephone. The Furlongs team arrange bottles of water from the nearby cafe kiosk and make a note to contact the VIP lounge and have a moan. Within a few minutes we're boarding our Aerogal flight and we're soon on the way to Ecuador's coastal city of Guayaquil. It's sad to leave the Galapagos Islands but we're sure everyone will go home with very happy memories.

Back at the Hilton in Guayaquil, we enjoy a special farewell dinner in the privately chartered (!) Portofino Restaurant. It is Sunday and a new Ecuadorian law prevents the public sale of alcohol. Fortunately, Richard and Dawn find a statutory loophole.