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San Cristobal

Market place in Quito
Market place in Quito
I am up at 0400 (I feel like a kid on Christmas!) A van from Adventure Life picks us up a few hours later and takes us to the Quito airport. We get a nice lesson about the environs of the city . We are dropped off and shown where to go. We accidentally get in the wrong line and our guide appears from nowhere and points us to where we should be. (Again, I am impressed!) We get through security and are on our way to San Cristobal in the Galapagos! We know our ship name is La Pinta and we have a grey pin with its name that we are to wear so that we are routed to the right ship. I start to worry a bit when many on our plane have a pin with a different name. What do they know that we don't? When we get off the plane I take so many pictures that we are among the last thru the door at the airport. (Harry is beginning to wonder how many I will take in 10 days). Our pin gets us in the right group and we meet one of the naturalists and some of our shipmates in the Galapagos airport. Everyone is really nice - whew! We take a bus to the pier and then take pangas (I've learned a new word already - these are motorized dingys) to the ship. Sea lions are everywhere - on the sand, on the steps of the pier, and on many of the anchored boats. How neat! We get to the ship - and it is lovely! The other ship with the name on so many others' pins is anchored nearby - I am really happy that we made our selection! We also find out that there will only be 18 passengers rather than the 48 it can hold. That sounds nice too! We have an amazing lunch and then get wet suits and snorkeling gear. Our first adventure is on the beach on another part of the island. There are so many sea lions - some walking around, some lying around, some snuggling, and some suckling - fascinating! Whomever invented wetsuits must not have had an ounce of fat on his or her body - I look like a beached whale but I do get in the water and I have to admit it keeps me warmer that I would be without it . I am among the first few in the panga (I'm cold) as we get ready to go back to the ship. A large male sea lion has decided he is interested in a female. She definitely does not share his interest and tries to become one of our passengers. He (with his very big & sharp teeth) chases her around the boat. After a while they both scamper off onto the beach and we head back to the ship. We shower and have dinner. Another incredible meal! By 2130 we are wiped out. Harry seems to be having a good time - but won't say more than it's OK. For me, the adventure has now really begun!

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