------------------------------- ------------------------------------ On and Off The Needles

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Darwin's Relm

Next week starts a grand adventure for hubby and I. We haven't been on a real vacation (just the two of us) since our honeymoon 5 years ago. With hubby's passion for scuba, and my passion for anywhere warm, he set out to look for an active, warm, scuba friendly vacation spot for us. He found it in the Galapagos.

Galapagos Map
With my love of nature, it is perfect. It is somewhere I have wanted to go since I started watching all the nature television shows back around elementary school. I am fascinated. Each little island is a world unto itself. It has wildlife that you will find nowhere else on the planet. It is the most volcanic area in the world. The islands are moving about an inch a year to the east. They form, then shift east on their tectonic plate. As they move, the islands undergo massive changes. They transform as they move off of the hot spot under the sea from volcanic wastelands of the islands in the west, to the lush, forested islands to the east. New islands are forming as we speak, and older ones are crumbling away back into the sea. Hubby and I have been watching this HD DVD and it is amazing. It is something I would have watched anyway, but watching it and knowing we will be there next week - it's a bit overwhelming. The landscape, the unique species - excitement is an understatement.
Land Iguana
(photo by Sibylle Purman)

Our adventure begins next Thursday with an early flight. A realtively short layover in Houston, then on to Quito, Ecuador. We arrive that evening and have the day on Friday to explore. It looks amazing. With the architecture, history and landscape we could probably easily spend a week there. But, we only have one day. On Saturday we get picked up to head to the Galapagos. Since it is a National Park, admission is limited and you do have to pay for a pass to get in. Gladly, I say! The trip is spent exploring the islands, snorkeling, biking, hiking and enjoying the warm weather. We have a week to see all we can. I'm sure we will fill a few memory cards with pictures! The group we are going with, Active Adventures is just that - active. Time to relax is built in, but there is so much to see, this isn't a beach bum type vacation for me (though I would love one of those too!).
Giant Tortoise eating
(photo by Sally Oberbeck)

I love the fact that all we can bring for a week is a duffel bag. That's it. No thought needed. Shorts, tanks and the basics. No fuss, no muss. Packing is where I usually get bogged down. What will the weather be? Will we be going out to dinner? All those typical vacation questions. This time, no worries. Everything is non-wrinkle workout type wear. Throw it into the duffel bag along with some hiking boots, water shoes and bathing suits, a fleece and Gore-Tex jacket to top it off and we are ready to go! My kind of packing!

Hubby will be doing lots of scuba diving, while I'll be snorkeling. He has his underwater camera, so I should have lots of really amazing photos to share when we come back on the 7th.
Blue Footed Boobies
photo by Hans Liu
Spending New Years Eve in the Galapagos - who'da thunk it??

Next post: how much knitting to take for two ten hour flights??