A giant cactusI’ve just left the Galápagos islands after spending a week there, and arrived back in Guayaquil. I spent four days on a boat with 10 other people, spending each day on a different island and travelling to the next at night. It was a last minute decision, and was incredible. Each day we went snorkeling from the boat, and I swam with sea lions, sharks, and many colourful and weird coral fish. Snorkeling with sharks isn’t scary as they mind their own business, but the sea lions come right up to people inquisitively and look huge in the water! Most beaches were full of hundreds of sea lions sun-bathing and making strange noises, as well as crabs, iguanas, and cactii. I saw flamingos, sea turtles, one penguin, blue-footed boobies, and of course, giant tortoises.

It was almost surreal to see the fearlessness of the animals. None of the animals are afraid of people. Birds, crabs, sea lions and iguanas will come right up to a group of tourists on the beach to see what’s going on. The islands themselves are a paradise. The sea is transparent and the beaches have the finest, whitest sand I have ever seen. It was amazing to be there even before we saw any animals!

I have many photos of the Galápagos islands, which I hope to upload as soon as I can. Now though, I am back on the mainland, and tonight I’m finally leaving Ecuador after two months and heading to Bolivia by bus.