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Customer Blog

First day in paradise- Fran in the Galapagos

By Fran Maitland , 20 February, 2017

Our plane flight was short. An hour and half. The view on arrival was promising. Blue and calm Let the Trek begin!

We were met by the Swim Trek guides, Kelly and Marlys, and settled into the airport outdoor seating area to await some fellow swimmers. The temperature is warm and slightly humid but less than we’ve been experiencing in Brisbane! The ‘girlguides’ Kelly and Marlys filled us in on the plan for the day. Then we met Fernando – a local Marine Biologist who will be giving us all the naturalist details on the animal life. He’s a gem. And gorgeous to look at and listen to. Very expressive face.

Unfortunately some of the flights delivering fellow swimmers were late, but it gave us plenty of time to get to know some of the others. Alex, a sweet but whip-smart girl from London; followed by Bill, who happens to be Simon (Mr Swim Trek)’s father. Then sisters, funny friendly Lynn and Lois from New York;and Joe an Australian teacher working in Beijing. Then lovely Betty from California. By 12.30 we were more than ready to head of to meet the others, who sensibly had arrived a day early. It was lunch on the Giant tortoise farm followed by a walk through the tortoise habitat. So over a delicious fish lunch we met Rebecca from London; Barry – smiling Canadian; Roly and Andrew – paediatrician friends from London;and Trish – a Colombian living in Atlanta. Our group is complete.


Our walk through the tortoise habitat was great. Fernando is a wealth of knowledge and after lots of questions from our group we felt we knew a little or a lot about tortoises. Off to our hotel, we quickly checked in and headed off for our first swim. The hotel is back from the water and has the usual number of stairs to climb to keep us fit. Our room is clean, big and has a veranda for all our wet things. Only downside is the wifi is only down 2 flights of stairs in reception. So posting here is haphazard. We are so busy.

The first swim was at a beach nearby and we had to hurry as the beach is closed by 6pm. It’s a National Park so there is no concession given to those who want a late swim! I tried to impress with my swimming but I’m still slow! But I’m in good company. We seem to be similar speeds overall. So the trek will be great. It’s not a competition. We are here to observe, we are told and you better believe it. There is much to see. Dinner was great so off to bed. Swim tomorrow. Bring it on.


Day 2: A Glorious Galapagos- Fran in the Galapagos

When you have a big day ahead it’s a good idea not to miss breakfast. So at 7am we headed to LoLo (the cafe next to our hotel) for the standard swimmers breakfast. Eggs, bread, juice and coffee. By 8 am we were on the bus for the 30 min ride across the island to board our boats. There are two...

Day 3 : Isola Isabela- Fran in the Galapagos

Breakfast was a 7am at Deli Cafe next door to our hotel. Better than yesterday’s at LoLo Cafe. A good coffee is a definite when we have a long day planned. Then it was luggage downstairs ready for the trip across to Isola Isabela our next stay. The swimming group are bonding and it’s fun and...

Day 4: Isola Isabela- Fran in the Galapagos

Tortuga is the remains of a collapsed volcano. It’s shaped like a horse shoe. The water was delicious. Perfect temperature. Nice little current and plenty to see along the way – both above and below the water. Frigate birds, sea lions, masses of fish, and of course marine iguanas. And of course...

Day 5 Tintoreras- Fran in the Galapagos

This morning it was hot as we headed to Tintoreras, a bay made up of lava channels and home to assorted wildlife. Predominantly the iguana. The water here is yet another shade of blue. More a beautiful emerald colour. We got off the boat and walked along the rough path, lead by Fernando. We saw...

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