Expecting Barney Rubble to emerge with Fred and Wilma, Diane and I visualized a scene from Bedrock on the fourth day of our fascinating cruise around The Galapagos Islands. Already experiencing close up views of adorable fur seals and penguins, large treeless birds staring up at us from the ground and marine lizards emerging from the sea like scaly fish, it all seemed surreal. Imagining a scene from a prehistoric world was easy while viewing North Seymour Island’s beautifully colorful land iguanas and walking among enormous Galapagos tortoises older than both of us on Santa Cruz Island, the main population center of the islands.
Following our phenomenal trip to Southeast Asia that included trekking with hill people, monkeying around with orangutans and learning how to be an elephant owner for a day, we chose Ecuador for our annual Expat Destination Research Vacation. Before visiting Cuenca, South America’s most renowned expat haven, we enjoyed trips to the Amazonian Rainforest and the shortest Galapagos luxury cruise available. Originally planning several more trips including some European destinations, one shitty company changed our long-term plans with my firing disguised as a layoff, inspiring us to choose early retirement in Malaysia in a few months. Concluding our last full day in the Galapagos with a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station and a lava cave as well as more close up views of fascinating wildlife, we reflected on the first three days and headed for the shores of North Seymour Island.