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North Seymour Island, Galapagos

On November 10, 2006 we flew from Las Vegas, NV to Guayaquil, Ecuador. It was not an easy trip! We got up at 4:15am in order to make the 7:30am flight from Las Vegas airport. We should have known things would not go smoothly when our taxi that was supposed to arrive at 5 did not get there until 5:30. Fortunately our taxi driver knew how to skirt around the already heavy traffic. But by the time we got to the airport at 6:15, the lines at American Airlines were very long and we started to panic. Forty minutes later we were finally checked in. The flight to Miami was unevenful. We had a 3 hour layover until our flight to Guayaquil. But that flight was delayed 2 hours for a broken exit light! So we didn't get to Guayaquil until 12:30 am. Customs weren't prepared for the crowd so it took forever to get thru. The good news: Linblad representatives met the plane, handled all the luggage from the airport to our room at the Hotel Hilton Colon. After a quick shower, we finally fell into the very comfortable bed at 2:30am., for some quick shut-eye before our 6:45 am wake-up call!! Travel days can be a real pain.

Galapagos Airport in BaltraAfter a quick bus ride back to Guayaquil airport, we took a 1-1/2 hour flight to the island of Baltra in the Galapagos. There we boarded buses for the short ride to the harbor where we climbed aboard zodiaks for the ride to our home for the next 7 days, the Polaris.Polaris We met our Expedition Leader, Lucho who briefed us on the week's activities, then had the required life boat drill. We found our cabin, and were reunited with our luggage. The cabins were quite spacious, with two nice closets and two large drawers for all our belongings, twin beds, a full window, nice bathroom with shower. After a buffet lunch, the ship set off for North Seymour Island.

Exiting the ZodiakAt 3:30, it was all ashore for our first hike. This was a dry landing from the zodiaks (aka pangas), on to black basaltic lava. Each group of 12 was accompanied by a naturalist who explained how important it was to stay on the marked trails so as not to disturb the breeding areas of the birds and animals on the islands.

Hike on N. Seymour IslandWe walked over reddish boulders to an area where Frigatebirds were nesting. The males inflate their bright red pouches to attract females to their nests. New chicks are all white, while year old chicks have white

heads.Baby Frigatebird (See Frigatebird Photo Gallery for more images of the Frigatebirds).






Land Iguana along hikeFurther along the trail we see a huge land iguana. The trail ends on a sandy beach area where sea lions are nursing new pups.Sea Lion Nursing (See Iguana Photo Gallery and Sea Lion Photo Gallery for additional photos of these animals.)





Dinner was at 7:30 each night and included a choice of a meat, fish or vegetarian entree. By 9:00, we were more than ready for bed.



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