Our Galapagos adventure starts in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito.
They say any journey begins with a single step. Ours starts with a non-stop plane journey–and a queasy feeling that I’m forgetting something really important.
Ever since Gap Adventures invited Chet and I to give their Galapagos Family Adventure a go, I’ve been wondering what exactly we need. Though we’ve traveled extensively, I’m not sure what Gap’s “adventure” travel means. Nor do I know how to define what a “comfort” level may be. And while I follow Gap’s packing list to the letter, I have a nagging suspicion I’m forgetting something important. I spend the day packing and second guessing and then re-packing again. Once I manage to meet the list and pack a single duffel bag for both of us under 37 lbs., I call myself done and hope for the best.
Chet and I are excited. Everyone we’ve spoken to has told us that a trip to the Galapagos Islands is amazing–life-changing, even. They’ve wowed us with their photos and tales of close encounters with incredible wildlife and even more incredible people. But not one of those persons is under the age of 21–and the nitty gritty details of their journeys are as different as each individual. For one of the first times as a traveling parent, I truly have no idea what to expect. It scares me a little.
It’s an uneventful flight to Quito–the kind of flight you hope for, really. When the captain says we’re on approach for landing, the view out the window is almost completely dark. But about 10 minutes before we touch down, Quito’s bright lights highlight a city carved into green mountains. I wish we were landing at midday so I could get a better look.
Early, the next morning, the hotel’s restaurant gives me a bird’s eye view of the city. The buildings seem to pour, like an avalanche, down the mountain passes. It’s quite a sight. Sadly, we won’t have time to explore Quito on this journey. We’re due to meet our Gap Adventures contact at 7:45am to make our way to the islands. But I make a mental note to come back–and soon.
Read about the rest of Kayt and Chet’s Galapagos journey with Gap Adventures:
Part 1: An Introduction
Part 2: Getting to the Galapagos
Part 3: Isla Isabela – A Volcano and a Beach
Part 4: Isla Isabela – Tortoises, Penguins and Sharks
Part 5: Isla Santa Cruz – A Virus and a Missed Opportunity
Part 6: Isla Santa Cruz – Lonesome George
Part 7: Isla San Cristobal – Frigate Bird Hill and the Loberia
Part 8: Isla San Cristobal – Kicker Rock
Part 9: Journey back to Quito