January 14, 2012
It took several hours last night and several hours this morning to finally get a island tour booked. It is difficult to get the long tours booked at short notice. The one day and up to 4 days tours are easier to do at last minute. The other thing is that Ulrike is so good at researching all the details from all the agents that it takes many hours to go to all of them to figure out which is the best option of the tours available. With tourists coming in all day everyday it is crucial to just take one that looks good and not worry too much about finding a better price. Sometimes when you wait even an hour, the last spots will be taken by someone else. This morning I ended up just grabbing the offer from the first place last night for the price offered. To me that was the best option for the places I wanted to visit and if I could get it $100 cheaper elsewhere, I really did not care. I think it is better just to take what is right in front of me right now instead of waiting for something better that might come along.
It has been easier to negotiate some things having a travel buddy who speaks the language but at this point we almost went on separate tours. That would be fine too but it just so happens she picked the some one I wanted, I considered changing my itinerary so I could have a break from hearing the negative aspects of everything. It seems as though with Ulrike anything that can go wrong will go wrong and even if it isn't really possible for something to wrong, still have to be prepared for something bad to happen. That is not how I think, I prefer to try to stay in a state of synchronicity and realizing that "nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so". I also feel that what happens to me is an event meant to happen and I often remind myself of a Rumi story about the guest house. Something about if a person comes in your house and robs you of everything you own, he is just clearing the way for new experiences.
There is an 8% fee for credit cards so I went to the bank and took out my daily limit from the ATM and that brought me to just over the amount I needed. I'm not sure where Ulrike went to but I decided to do a few things on my own until the 2pm boat for San Cristobal. I did not look for a cheap restaurant, instead I found a very nice one with good food and excellent margaritas! While there I briefly met an Australian guy named Stu who is off exploring several countries in Asia and South America.
I also got a waterproof case for my camera and being the only waterproof case in this shop for this specific camera and the only place in the Galapagos with it, it cost me dearly. If they did not have this one case there was not another one to be found except back on the mainland in Quito.
The taxi boats cost 50 cents and is a pretty cool way to be taxied around. We had to take a taxi boat to a larger boat for trip to San Cristobal Island. The crossing took about about 2 hours.
As soon as we landed there were sea ions everywhere, on the beaches, on the boardwalks and even sleeping on the benches. A guy named Stu that I met briefly at the restaurant for lunch was on the boat. He and I both were interested in the sea lions but Ulrike needed to go do her thing of visiting at least 7 hostals/hotels researching all of them, going in checking the rooms, testing the beds, etc.... so she went her way while Stu and I went to check out the sea lions.
SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
Stu and I found a cheap hotel for $10 a night and got checked in then headed to a restaurant to eat. It was an upstairs restaurant that had an open balcony where we sat at a table right at the edge overlooking the bay.
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