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V. Expeditions: Everything Galapagos+Machu Picchu


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1 hour ago, CharTrav said:

Am assuming TellUs is watching. 

 

I KNOW they are. Hi, guys!! 🙋‍♀️

 

1 hour ago, CharTrav said:

And what about using ziplock baggies?

 

Probably worse than plastic containers because they can blow away. I am sure that our list of specifics could go on and on as we tease out what the limits of the problem. Personally, I think that the more we talk about, the more we explore those limits, the better it is all around.

 

2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

are not allowed into the Galápagos Islands

 

Does it mean not allowed within the boundaries of the territory or does it mean that we can't carry such items with us when we go on shore? It is not a question of what WE think it means but of what those enforcing the rules say it means. Ecuador wrote the rules and they will be the ones enforcing them -- not Viking. So, Viking, some clarity here please. Well, not here here but in the FAQ, please.

 

What a perfect time to bring back the mesh bags that Viking was once upon a time giving away. They would be much better for this itinerary than the felt bags (which I find to be too heavy to travel regardless).

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3 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

Does it mean not allowed within the boundaries of the territory or does it mean that we can't carry such items with us when we go on shore? It is not a question of what WE think it means but of what those enforcing the rules say it means. Ecuador wrote the rules and they will be the ones enforcing them -- not Viking. So, Viking, some clarity here please. Well, not here here but in the FAQ, please.

Exactly what I was thinking -- if the stuff stays on the ship .. to me thinking that should be OK. But it is whatever Ecuador -- or is it the parkI totally agree you don't want that stuff getting loose on the islands themselves. Agree 100% that clarity is required.   Ah ha!  Just found something but it's still unclear whether small plastic bottles for medicine are part of this ban.

https://www.galapagosislands.com/travel/tips/travel-regulations.html

I'd be happier if I could find an official site from the government of Ecuador but this was the best I could find. If Viking could find and provide a link to such a site from the FAQs, that would be great.

Kept digging and had the inspiration that there must a site for the National Galapagos Park .. and there is .. notice in the advised packing list -- ziplock baggies!

https://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/planning-a-trip/

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When we took our trip years ago, here were some of the guidelines we were given:

You can bring plastic medicine containers (original prescriptions) with you onboard the ship.  They may not be taken to the islands when going onshore, except if it is a mandatory short time frame you are required to take it. (Example: every two hours)  You are permitted to take a water bottle onshore, but it must be taken back with you to the ship.  Anything you bring with you onshore, must be taken back with you to the ship.  Pack the items you take onshore in a small water tight bag, such as ziplock etc for cameras.  Remember it must be securely sealed otherwise you will find the wildlife will enjoy exploring your bag!!  Do not bring any food onshore.  The excursions onshore lasted generally about 4 hours, sometimes 2 excursions during the daytime.  It is recommended you put sunscreen on before leaving the ship.  As for electronics on the ship, it is usually limited to charging your cellphone or camera battery.  They do not want other devices plugged in as the electricity is very limited.  Our ship (Non-Viking), was a retrofitted WWII hospital ship, with each cabin have 1 outlet.  Some cabins had two.  It was comfortable, but not large.  Again the rule is whatever you bring on the island, you must take off.  Viking may have altered some of these so the best bet is to check with them, although the majority of the rules are set by the Ecuadorian government.  Also, when you fly to the islands, do not get concerned when they come through the cabin on the airplane disinfecting the overhead bins.  This is a normal practice, and has nothing to do with coronavirus etc.  Additionally, check with your guide when going onshore on what objects you can or can't take as souvenirs from the islands.  It is very limited if any!   Johneb2

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One other thing I thought of,,,,   In Ecuador, their currency is the US Dollar.   Remember the infamous Susan B. Anthony dollar coins that we seemed to dislike, well they have found a home in Ecuador!   Johneb2

 

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On 3/8/2020 at 8:00 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

Welcome, @johneb2 and welcome to the ranks of our resident experts. We hope that you will continue to follow this thread and jump in with advice whenever you can. Every little tidbit will help us to make the best of the adventure. TIA -- thanks in advance!

 

 

I am not a very chatty person, and was getting up my nerve to write about our experiences last year in the Galapagos and Machu Picchu and then I read johneb2's post- I agree with what he said.     As far as plastics- they won't allow you to go on the islands with plastic bags, bottles, etc but you can have them in the ship.  They will give you a water bottle to refill each day.   Interesting tidbit-  my bags were scanned at the airport in Galapagos on arrival-  they wanted to inspect my hiking boots to see if there was dirt on them from elsewhere  (they were new!)  We were on a 15 passenger boat- but I think rules would be the same.  Chargers for camera batteries, etc were fine.  Don't worry about cell phones though-   no coverage in most places!   Get a waterproof gear bag for your camera equipment.           Most of the areas we walked  on the islands were very rocky and uneven-  my sense of balance was challenged!  The snorkeling was wonderful.    The sun was very hot- at equator!  Ok, I'll give it a break!

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19 minutes ago, EJLobster said:

The sun was very hot- at equator!  Ok, I'll give it a break!

 

What time of the year were you there?

 

I'm not big into HOT weather and so chose December, when the sun will be over the Antarctic Circle, hoping that the sun won't be quite as strong then. I hope my 'logic' works out.

 

In any case, EJLobster, welcome to the thread. Another resident expert!! Please keep following us and telling us your stories--and teasing us with pictures!!!!

 

 

Oh, and speaking of the Equator,  I wonder if we will get a chance to stand on the Equator, one foot in each hemisphere.  I have stood on the Prime Meridian, twice now. I have sailed across the Arctic Circle (twice) but did not get a chance to actually stand on it. Standing on the Equator would be cool!

 

 

Image result for map of galapagos islands

 

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We did the Galapagos extension with Viking after our South American cruise in January.  A few things I can tell you.

 

The sun is intense and there is no shade on most islands.  Sunscreen, hat and water are musts.  The locals wear long pants and long sleeved shirts both in light colors and breathable fabrics.  The also have cotton neck gators to protect the lower part of their faces from the sun.  I was very happy I had along hiking pants and boots, but wished I had the long sleeved shirts the guides had.  

 

There was a weight limit for suitcases going to the Galapagos and we had to fill out a questionnaire about what we had with us.  There was nothing about plastic and I had plastic bags, medicine bottles and other plastics with me.  None of these were a problem and we were staying on Santa Cruz Island so they were on the island with me.  They asked me about my hiking boots and where I had been with them but never looked at them.  They seem concerned about whether on not I had been hiking in the rainforest, which I have not been to.  I told them I had hiked in Patagonia and that didn't seem to be a problem.  

 

In packing remember when arriving in Galapagos, you will land on Baltra Island, take a bus to a small boat of some sort then most likely take that boat to your ship.  Best to pack as lightly as possible, especially the item you want to carry on.  Viking did a great job handling our checked bags.

 

One other thing I want to mention.  On our last day we flew (on an Airbus A319) to Guayaquil then continued on to Quito on the same plane, with about an hour stop in Guayaquil where we did not get off the plane.  We arrived in Quito at about 5pm.  By the time we got our luggage and got to the bus to take us to the hotel it was 6pm.  We had an hour ride to the hotel, so we did not arrive at the hotel until 7pm (well after dark). Most of us had a 5am flight the next morning so we had to leave the hotel at 2am.  Not a very nice way to end our vacation when we were expecting to see some of Quito.

 

Enjoy your trips to the Galapagos.  They are amazing islands and we had an unforgettable experience there. Hope this helps

 

Pat

 

 

 

 

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We were there in Dec and Jan 2018-2019.  It was in the mid 80's most days and dry. We did visit the equator outside of Quito Ecuador- we spent a few days there before we left for Galapagos.  getPart?uid=ABVVGadg3S_CXmfSAQWJ-M_0URk&partId=2&saveAs=IMG_1964.JPG&scope=STANDARD

I think the sun is pretty much over the equator year round   and it is just the tilt of the earth's axis that changes between summer and winter. 

  • The sun is always shining on one half of the equator. As the earth rotates, first one half of the wide circle and then the other faces directly towards the sun. Days and nights are equal throughout the year and the equator does not get a chance to cool off with a winter period of short days and sloping sunshine.

Why is the equator always hot? - You Ask Andy

youaskandy.com/questions-answers/25-article-series-1950/17596-why-is-the-equator-always-hot.html
Edited by EJLobster
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I'm not big into HOT weather and so chose December, when the sun will be over the Antarctic Circle, hoping that the sun won't be quite as strong then. I hope my 'logic' works out.



Technically, the Sun will be over the Tropic of Capricorn, so not as low in the sky as you're hoping. It's the Tropics - it's always warm.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, just_dont said:


 

 


Technically, the Sun will be over the Tropic of Capricorn, so not as low in the sky as you're hoping. It's the Tropics - it's always warm.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

 

 

Ok, I fess up. I didn't do very well in Earth Science.  It was too long ago.

 

Edited by Peregrina651
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As promised earlier ..I've just finished up the initial Day-by-Day for East Galápagos, Machu Picchu, & Peru with Peruvian Amazon pre-Extension and posted to DropBox for folks to use (decided the "day-by-day" style I use for Viking River trips worked best).  The direct link to it is: 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvt874vi6l0fa5b/East Galapagos Viking Expedition - Day By Day (2020) - Rev 0 (ToShare).pdf?dl=0

I've added info about it to my signature block too.  Working from the assumption that we still can't use more than 3 hyperlinks in our signature block (used to say that but don't see it now...), I created a Viking Expeditions folder inside the Viking Oceans folder and have not created a folder just for the East Galapagos trip either.  As always -- you don't need a DropBox account.  

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15 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvt874vi6l0fa5b/East Galapagos Viking Expedition - Day By Day (2020) - Rev 0 (ToShare).pdf?dl=0

 

Wow, has Char been busy!

 

The PDF includes links to all of the hotels named, the day by day descriptions from the Viking website along with the descriptions of the tours each day, the FAQ, speculation on all the flights, etc.

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This is a wonderful thread.  Peregrina651, thanks for initiating it.  My wife and I did the National Geographic / Linblad trip to the Galapagos in 2014, and it was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Some of our experiences may be useful to people contemplating a trip.

 

Ecuador is very protective of its islands, and tries to balance the interests of the local population (more tourists, more economic activity!) with its role as guardian of the national preserve. Some islands are visited infrequently, so their addition to an itinerary will attract bird photographers. We visited an island which had not been on the list during the past ten years. Some islands are limited to ships of 99 passengers or fewer.

 

The Zodiac landings were relatively easy to manage,  but they do require swinging one's legs over the side and sliding down   into the boat or onto the shallow littoral. Some folks had trouble descending from the main deck via the staircases to the Zodiacs. The deck one door of the Santa Cruz II should remediate that problem.

 

The ground on most islands was rocky, with sharp craggy areas. Some of the paths were steep. Many islands had alternatives for visitors, one with a vigorous choice, and another with gentle ascents. Others created marine views, with the Zodiac taking folks who blanched at the steep staircases on a visit to secluded coves, etc.

 

The Park rules required that ship curtains be drawn at night, and ships operated at night with minimum visible lighting. We were told that was to avoid attracting and transporting insects from one island to another where they would be the invasive species.

 

Practicing walking in "swimming shoes" is very helpful. Many beaches have a rocky gravel mix, so foot gear is helpful. Once on the beach, you change into your hiking shoes and socks. So, having a (waterproof) day pack with your camera and shoes is helpful.

 

Sorry for the rambling, but I thought this information might be of interest.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cienfuegos said:

This is a wonderful thread.  Peregrina651, thanks for initiating it.  My wife and I did the National Geographic / Linblad trip to the Galapagos in 2014, and it was indeed the trip of a lifetime. Some of our experiences may be useful to people contemplating a trip.

 

Ecuador is very protective of its islands, and tries to balance the interests of the local population (more tourists, more economic activity!) with its role as guardian of the national preserve. ...

 

Sorry for the rambling, but I thought this information might be of interest.

 

 

KEEP RAMBLING!!!!!!! We love it!

 

Thank you for signing on as another one of our resident experts. We look forward to hearing more, as the spirit moves.

 

Closed curtains explains why there are no balconies on the ship!

 

I am definitely going to have to find a sturdy yet comfortable pair of walking shoes and wear them in.

 

The shopping is list is growing. Waterproof day pack, good hiking shoes, hot weather gear...

Edited by Peregrina651
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On 3/17/2020 at 10:34 PM, Cienfuegos said:

Practicing walking in "swimming shoes" is very helpful. Many beaches have a rocky gravel mix, so foot gear is helpful. Once on the beach, you change into your hiking shoes and socks. So, having a (waterproof) day pack with your camera and shoes is helpful.

What are swimming shoes? Thanks!

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Yes, exactly.

 

The shoes usually have a tread or pebbling on the underside for support while walking on rough surfaces. And vents to allow water to drain out.

 

My wife has a pair that look like rubber sandals, with an elastic strap to hold them in

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Here are some more pictures from our 2013 trip.  Included you will see a picture of our ship, along with a zodiac disembarking.  Again, we thought it was a trip of a lifetime.  If you have any questions on the pictures, let me know.   Enjoy, Johneb2

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