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galapagos
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:42 am    Post subject: galapagos Reply with quote

Hello to all the friends,
My husband desires to travel to Galapagos. I checked, but it seems that beside cormorans, seals, some giant turtles and a lot of iguanas, there is little else.
I'm more of a city "grl" and not really excited by reptiles &co. But my loved one likes nature and it's his ( 65th) birthday and I feel I'll have to "shlepp" myself on one of those tiny rocking boats. People around who visited the islands are devided in two clear-cut groups: those who loved it and those who really think it's a waste of time and money ( the price is really exorbitant) . So I would be grateful to poll the opinion of those of you woh visited these islands.I hope the poll will be in my favour and we'll go to a civilized place with people instead of iguanas.
Thanks very much

No more war, no more Galapagos!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha ha, i wish I could be more supportive simona but I'd LOVE to go to the Galapagos. As a caveat though, only for a day or two as a side trip from South America.
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Lilia Dignan



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
Posts: 159
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: galapagos Reply with quote

Simona,

Like you, I'm a city gal. Give me concrete with touches of city parks anytime. Please tell hubby that I plan to spend my 65th birthday next year in Paris (I don't seem to go anywhere else these days!). Then you can do your 3*Michelin......

Hope you get lots of votes...............
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We say " next year in Jerusalem". It was a wish made by the Jews in the Diaspora for over 2000 years. So maybe, on your way to or from Paris, you could celebrate your birthday next year... in Jerusalem. No 3* Michelin restaurants, but what a view !
Thanks for the support and, once again, Bon Voyage !

No more war, More Paris and Jerusalem
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot David! What's with you guys, can't you enjoy quietly a window shopping splurge in Faubourg St Honore! What do you try to prove by jumping from airplanes, climbing impossible mountains or searching for lost iguanas! Maybe you two go to Galapagos and try to validate Darwin's theory. As for myself, I'm convinced man is a close relative to the monkey, I don't have to travel 5000 km for that. Looking around is enough. OK, sorry I'm in my cynical mood.
Thanks anyway, really...How is the new dog feeling in its new home?

No more war, more Faubourg St. Honore!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

simona, would your husband be satisfied with a DVD of 'Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'? It's one of very few movies to have had some footage shot on the Galapagos Islands.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311113/

Personally, right at the moment I think that some of those extreme activities are actually safer than everyday ones. I have spent time overseas kayaking and cycling, but managed to break my arm in Thailand in a movie cinema!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simona,
Be thankful your husband doesn't want to relive his survival training days. My husband has tried to convince me to go to a small Alaskan island for three days surviving on limpids and seaweed.
I began to pretend that I didn't speak english until he dropped the subject.
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debsdelectables



Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:23 pm    Post subject: I've been to Galapagos Reply with quote

Hi All,

In October 2003, my boyfriend and I visited Galapagos while on a trip to Ecuador. It was off-season and quite desolate, although beautiful and interesting. The weather was clear most days and very sunny during the day. We spent 5 days exploring the islands.

The Galapagos islands are 500 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and actually are part of the country. Ecuador uses the US dollar, so be sure to bring plenty of them because you pay a cash fee after flying to the island, or taking a cruise to it.

Once you arrive at the Galapagos airport, you'll have to cruise to one of the islands with a hotel or stay on a private ship or small yacht. I made the mistake of choosing the yacht, thinking that the seasickness preventing patch I wore would help with the choppy waters. No such luck. I was sick as a dog most of the time. And, to add insult to injury, when I was back on land again, I had to readjust, feeling landsick all the while. No more cruises for me!

Although the waters were mostly choppy, some days were smooth sailing. The weather was fine. Be mindful that you will be at the equator and bring very strong sunblock. I typically don't get sunburned, but wore 30 spf (uv A and B) and still took a burn. Wide-brimmed hats and those lovely convertible pants that zip off to shorts are well advised.

In my opinion, the best part about the cruise was meeting all the great folks from other countries. We met the loveliest sisters from Holland, with whom I still email now and then.

Since we arrived out of season, there was very little vegetation in bloom, but we did see the famous blue-footed boobies and other birds Darwin watched. There are thousands of the three breeds of iguana that you'll see everywhere. They're beautiful and very tame. Oh, and sealions litter the beaches. They're also pretty tame and have much to say to visitors.

The food on the cruise and back in Ecuador was dreadful. Be very careful about what you eat, and make sure you get all your shots before leaving. That's all I'll say about it.

If you're going to stay in Ecuador, the city of Guayaquil is really advanced and has a very nice boardwalk on the water. They had just opened it about a year before we arrived.

The people are very kind and will look out for you in a country with kidnappers and a lot of other crime. It also helps a lot if you can speak Spanish or at least try to refer to a Berlitz book now and then to translate. The people appreciate that greatly.
Very Happy
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin, now i just suspect you could turn those limpets and seaweed into a lovely soup.

simona, little Maggie was down in the dumps the first day but is all p--- and vinegar today, she's adjusting very well.

debsdelectables! Welcome and thanks for the quickie tour of the Galapagos. Did you see any of the diving iquanas?
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debsdelectables



Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:46 pm    Post subject: I've been to Galapagos Reply with quote

Hi David!

Thanks for the kind greetings and warm welcome.

Yes. We saw the marine, land and hybrid iguanas. Their colors tell them apart.

Best,
Deb
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simona - I'd be bargaining with my husband. I'll come to the Galapagos with you if we have a week in Paris the following month. Seriously though, after reading Debs report I want to go. I think it would be a wonderful meditative experience.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:30 pm    Post subject: galapagos Reply with quote

Dear Deb, Thank you so much for sharing with me your experience. It's more or less what I expect to happen , and therefore I am less than enthousistic to visit the islands.
To all the friends, thanks and I'll let my husband read all your answers.
Erin, Your husband wanted Alaska, mine wanted Antarctica , Galapagos was a compromise!!.
For now, as the season is finished, Galapagos is out and transferred to winter time, and Toscana is in ( I hope May). It's a nostalgia trip, we'we been there in our pre-wedding honey moon. Still, I'll appreciate more information on Galapagos, if available. Thanks in advance

No more war, no more Galapagos
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debsdelectables



Joined: 07 Apr 2005
Posts: 5
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:24 pm    Post subject: Another recommendation for travel Reply with quote

Last September, John and I drove from Salt Lake City down to Utah's beautiful and majestic parks. These are some of the US' National Parks--Bryce Canyon (http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm), Zion National Park (http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm), Capitol Reef (http://www.nps.gov/care/index.htm), Escalante National Monument and much more.

I'd like to recommend these because the views are spectacular, the colors of the rock formations are like nothing else you'll see anywhere, and the hiking ranges from strenuous to easy.

The best, IMHO, is Zion. There's all kinds of eclectic places to stay, great food in Springdale, and the hiking can't be beat.

Utah's an interesting place--there's the best skiing around at Alta during the winter (http://www.alta.com/ -- check out the pic of the day archive. They're STILL getting new powder). Then, there's the prevailing Mormon culture. Prevailing might actually be an understatement, actually. But it's not easily explained. Much better experienced.

One of our goals is to visit all the national parks. I've been to the Grand Canyon, so just a couple are off the list.

This September, we're going to Maine to see Acadia National Park (http://www.nps.gov/acad/).

Has anyone been to Yellowstone or Yosemite? Those are near the top of our list. Smile
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ANTARTICA! I would have said , "How about separate vacations this year?"

David, I do make some lovely soups, hee, hee, hee!
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yosemite - what an amazing, awesome, spiritual place. I visited 10 years on a day trip from San Francisco and have always wanted to go back and spend longer.

We're going to the West Coast of the US in September, taking our kids, and we all want to go to Yosemite and do some camping there. Grand Canyon's on the list, but no-one wants to go to Disneyland. Fine with me. I have already earmarked the money we'll save in not going to Disneyland for dinner for Greg and me at the French Laundry
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