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Grrr... go away!


Lietuviskas aprasymas zemiau

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Day 95: Almost Airborne

May 13, 2006

This is it - we are finally free! Jane and Jeff hit the road early in the morning, and we ran straight to the office of TAME to buy air tickets to the Galapagos. As we happened to be planning our trip to the islands in low season (during those freezing +30C/ 85F Ecuadorian winter days! :)), getting tickets for the next morning flight was not a problem. All there was left to do afterwards was find a temporary shelter for the Nissan, pack the bags and go celebrate the official beginning of Latin America!

Tip #1 TAME and AirGal are two major airlines flying to Islas Galapagos. In low season (May 1 to June 14 & September 15 to October 31) both of them charge USD300 for flights from Guayaquil and USD330 for flights from Quito. High season flights cost USD40-60 more. Student ID saves USD5 in low season or USD30 in high season.
Not many travelers know about the third airline, Icaro (www.icaro.com.ec), which does not apply the USD100 foreign traveler surcharge unlike the other two, and will take you to the Galapagos for USD180 from Guayaquil or USD210 from Quito.

Tip #2 Parking at the airport is expensive. It is much better to find a guarded parking lot in the city and take a taxi to the airport. We paid USD20 for 17 days in the parking lot adjacent to Hotel Velez.

Tip #3 Take enough cash to the islands. You will have to pay USD100 National Park fee immediately upon landing, cash only accepted. Also, the ATMs of Banco Pacifico on Isla Santa Cruz accept MasterCard only (no Visa, even though Visa logo is shown on the ATMs). During business hours you will be able to get cash advance with your Visa card in the bank, but it is an extended procedure. Bring a copy of your passport. There is Banco Pacifico office on the Isla San Cristobal as well (not sure about ATM).

Tip #4 All the travel books we have describe boat service between Santa Cruz and other islands as extremely seldom and very expensive, but it looks like the situation has changed a lot during the recent years. There are daily boats from Santa Cruz to Isla Isabela and to Isla San Cristobal. The boats depart at 2PM. Departures from Isabela and San Cristobal happen at 6-7AM. The ride takes 2-4 hours depending on the weather conditions. A ticket costs USD30 each way (USD25 if you manage to catch the owner of the boat and buy tickets directly from him). It is a good idea to reserve tickets in advance, as the boats are small and fill up quickly. The ride is quite bumpy even in good weather; so take that sea sickness pill in advance, if you are prone to motion sickness.

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We're almost there! (Picture from a satellite)

Galapagos Islands photo from MISR satellite

Iki Galapagu liko viena diena! (Galapagu salu nuotrauka is palydovo)


Nuvesk pelyte virs paveiksliuko, spustelk jos kaire ausele, ir paveiksliukas padides

95-oji diena: Beveik ore

2006 m. geguzes 13

Ryte islydim i Brazilija J&J, o patys zygiuojam pirkti lektuvo bilietu I Galapagus.

Is Gvajakilio i salas skraido trys oro linijos: TAME, Aerogal ir Icaro. Bilietas su pirmosiom dviem kainuoja apie $300, sezono metu - $30-70 brangiau, studentams - $295. Is anksto rezervuoti nebutina - nuo to kaina nesikeicia (gal tik sezono metu reiketu, kad netektu pora savaiciu laukti vietos). Icaro bilietai - $100 pigesni, taciau tai yra palyginti nauja oro linija, apie kuria mes tada, deja, dar nezinojom; todel labai apsidziaugem rade dvi vietas rytojaus ryto skrydziui su TAME.

Grize su bilietais, suradom laikinus namus Nissanui (uz nedideli mokesti viesbutis prieme i garaza) ir pirma karta lengviau atsikvepem - pagaliau baigesi visos biurokratines beprotystes, vel turime masina, ir jau rytoj ryte isskrendam i Galapagus!!! - staiga prisiminem, kad tokia proga butina deramai atsvesti :)

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