Saturday, April 18, 2009

Next time check a map!

OK, I admit this trip caught me off guard. I knew the Galapagos were somewhere out there in the Pacific. I didn't actually know where in the world it really was. By virtue of having to prepare for travel to Ecuador I came to know the islands were a state that country. Somehow I crossed something I read and had it in my mind that the islands were 90 miles off the coast of Ecuador, it wasn't until I realized that we had a FOUR HOUR flight that it was a darn site further than 90 miles. Actually the islands lay 600 miles off the South American coast.
So much for my geography knowledge.

The trip was totally uneventful. No bad weather, no high winds, no obnoxious kids or goats and chickens... just a regular flight .... until I saw where we were going to be landing. After hours of seeing nothing but water the plane banked to the right and I looked out the window to see one tiny oval of land with a strip in the middle of it. The realization that this plane was going to land on that "hic-up" of dry land made me uneasy. My immediate thought was ... it's missing something, such as a CONTINENT. I can tell you why the Galapagos tortoises are not in the Atlantic Ocean, because our constant hurricanes would have washed those non swimming turtles into the sea and that would have been the end of them. Those tiny specks of land this plane was now aiming for would not be any protection at all from huge waves.
Now I want you too keep in mind as you look at the above picture of the landing strip and then the satellite picture of the islands that the round island at the end of the point is NOT Baltra (the island with the landing strip) That is Santa Cruz. Baltra is the tiny point of that otherwise round land mass. At the time we turned, the only thing I could see was Baltra.

Also, keep in mind that this group of islands are
not the size of Hawaii. I just threw the blurry map below in so you can see the location of and compare the size of the Galapagos to the Hawaiian Islands.

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