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Seven Surprises of the Galapagos!

#1: The Overwhelming Feeling of Astonishment

The wildlife is awe inspiring. Imagine rounding a corner and coming upon a nesting area for literally dozens upon dozens of various kinds of

seabirds. The sound of all of them cooing, cawing, and flapping their wings all at the same time is so otherworldly, you would swear you had just been transported to the Cretaceous Period!

#2: The Animals Don’t Even Know What You Are!

The animals you will see in the Galapagos have seen humans, but don't think of us as apex preditors. They view us as just another animal species living in the neighborhood! When you walk or hike there, large land iguanas won’t even move their tails out of your way- you have to step over them! Sea lions may turn their heads and give you a passing glance, but will carry on with their barking, nursing, and lolling about. Had our guide not told us that it’s against Galapagos Park rules to get too close, we probably could have even gotten nose to nose with some!

#3. Certain Expedition Ships such as the Silver Galapagos are Actually Comfortable (and I am a Princess, so that is saying a lot).

Expedition ships have a tendency to have a rougher ride and offer less comfort than large vessels, but Silversea has upped their expedition

ship game. We had excellent food, luxurious beds, and our personal butler provided great service. Silversea has mastered the art of

obtaining the necessary comforts while not sacrificing one bit of adventure.

#4. The Water is Extremely Cold

Come prepared! Silversea suggests you bring a “rash guard” to wear underneath the full-length wetsuit they provide, and I would highly

recommend you do. We all had rash guards, but even that left us with chattering teeth at times. I took my underwater pics and swam with the sea lions (what an incredible thrill!), but after every excursion I honestly looked forward to getting out of the water and warming myself in the sun.

# 5. This is a Real Circle of Life Experience

Without getting graphic, let me say that you will see the full cycle of

life and death happen before your eyes. That means witnessing the food chain in action and the mercilessness of the natural world. Life finds a way, even on these glorified rocks called the Galapagos, but not

without some suffering and death. In some ways, visiting the Galapagos is a great “gratitude check” for all of us humans. Thank you, ancestors, for crawling out of the primordial slime and inventing condos with indoor plumbing!

#6. Babies, Babies, and More Babies

The object of all life in the Galapagos seems to be procreation, especially since the survival of their species depends on it. The guides will educate you on the trends of El Nino (which have cut the numbers of sea lions dramatically) and all the other myriads of hazards that trim,

then swell the population of animals you will see. Everywhere you look there are parents rearing young. Eggs hatching, Sea lion pups playing, and all the babies are so darned cute! Nature even makes Sally Light Foot crabs look cute, perhaps so that maybe we will be more careful not to step on them?

#7. There is an Expiration Date for these Untouched Wonders

We found that we got to the islands during the midst of a lot of changes. The Ecuadorian government has an immense amount of

economic pressure on them currently because of the recent earthquake and a sharp decline in oil prices from previous years. With these financial burdens, you never know what they will be forced to do to meet expenses. One rumor we heard surrounded the government opening the islands up for more land based resort development (there are only two there now), and another rumor concerned them accepting investments from China in the form of even further land development. Bottom line: go to the islands while they are still in their present unpolluted state of natural perfection! You will remember it all your life, I promise.

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