Today’s not really a shooting day; it’s a transfer back to the mainland day. Timing is based around the boat’s needs: they need to get us off the boat as early as possible so that they can do cleaning, maintenance, and supply replenishing, then welcome a new group aboard for the next tour.
At Puerto Moreno, everything revolves around the mid-day flight. Obviously, if we waited until the last minute to leave the boat for the flight and the next group got off the plane and through the Galapagos park service entrance procedures quickly, the boat crew would have virtually no time to do all the chores they need to do between trips.
So what happens in Puerto Moreno is this: you have an early breakfast and you’re shuffled off the boat with your carry-on luggage. Your checked luggage goes immediately to the airport. You, on the other hand, go by bus to a newly-built visitor center, which has displays about various aspects of the islands. The most interesting of which is the 3D map that shows the underwater terrain as well as the above-water terrain. It also has a tortoise pen. The expectation is that you’ll spend an hour to 90 minutes wandering the exhibits, then the bus picks you back up and drops you downtown for another on-your-own exploration.
In other words, you’re in hurry-up-and-wait mode. Generally, you have about three hours to kill before the bus comes to take you to the airport, and then you usually have another hour or more at the airport before you board the plane.
Most of us just put the cameras away and socialized. A majority spent their in-town time buying last minute souvenirs and ice cream, and again socializing. The town has a pleasant harbor-front park if all you want to do is chill. Because some of the group is immediately going on to other places from the Galapagos, such as Macchu Picchu, while the others are all on different plane flights home tomorrow, this is really the last time we’re together as a group, so we’re saying our goodbyes and reliving our favorite parts of the trip conversationally.
Personally, I’ve got a very early flight tomorrow morning to Panama so that I can make the non-stop back to Newark, so I’m winding down and thinking about what I have to do to consolidate packing tonight at the hotel.
I’ve intentionally left a few photos from the students that I haven’t shown yet on the blog so that we have something photographic left for today. So enjoy these random shots from our two weeks in the islands:
So from all of us on the Galapagos 2014 trip, a hearty goodbye and we hope you enjoyed the photos and stories we shared with you.
(Tomorrow I’ll wrap up with a discussion of camera gear used on the trip.)