Rose Krzyz took a trip with us to The Galapagos recently. Here she describe her experience first hand, along with some impressive holiday snaps.
It was a chance encounter with Simon at the Photography exhibition at the NEC that started our journey towards our holiday of a lifetime. It took a long time planning but two years later with all our paperwork in place a few days before we due to leave, we set of from Sheffield to Manchester airport on a snowy night with Winnats, Snake and Woodhead closed. Things were bound to get better we told ourselves.
Wildfoot had advised us on how to ensure the holiday to the Galapagos met our expectations. We were a party of four with different areas of interest, yet with Wildfoot’s help the holiday catered for all our needs and desires. In fact at the end of the holiday we all agreed that we had just had three holidays in one; Quito being shown around by Louis for Andando for four days, Galapagos on the Yolita 11 for eight days and Bellavista in the cloud forest for another four days.
A bit of advice for those considering this trip.
- Ignore the weather forecasts. Pack layers for all eventuality excluding snow! And pack a poncho for the Cloud Forest, a raincoat is not enough! On a positive note our experience was that the weather was never as bad as predicted by the weather forecast.
- By all means read the forums about crime in Quito, but do not let them ruin your enjoyment of this beautiful city. Take the same precautions you would take in any big city. We went around with guides in the day time to make sure we got to see all the sights in the little time we had at our disposal, but in the evenings walked from the Hilton to the Plaza Foch and back again as a group of four with no trouble.
- Make sure you are fit enough for the small boat cruise. The first day on the Yolita the itinerary consisted of two snorkels and two walks. You can of course opt out of any activity, but you would be missing out a lot. Snorkels generally last one hour but the rib follows you closely and you are free to climb abroad whenever you want to. Walks were also about one hour long and the terrain varied. Every evening we would have a briefing to let us know what was involved.
- Getting on and off the boat onto the islands can be a challenge, but our group of late sixty year olds managed it well with only one slip up!
And the memorable bits of this amazing holiday:
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The holiday was so well put together by Wildfoot, that, in spite of the fact that we were dealing with at least three different providers, (Andando, Yolita 11, and Bellavista), one part of the holiday merged seamlessly into the next. The guides picked us up from the hotel on time and delivered us back there at the end of the activity. On our last day, we were transported from the Bellavista Lodge back to the airport. The Bella vista package included a day tour to see the famous Cock on the Rock at the Paz de la Aves Reserve. None ofour group would classify ourselves as twitchers, but the sight of these rare birds making an appearance at the appointed time to attract a mate will remain with us forever.
Thank you Simon, Sharon, Joel and Gillian for looking after the boring preparations for our holiday and checking that everything was in place, so that we could relax and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.