I have so much to say about my trip that I don’t know where to begin.
It was amazing and exceeded every expectation, the tour around Quito and the Galapagos will always be one of my favourite vacations. Right now it is the favourite trip that I have done.
Part of the reason it was so great was the tour company, so that is where I will start with my posts.
I talked about how I chose Peregrine as my tour company here picking a tour.
Now I’ll tell you how they did.
First upon arrival in Quito at just after 11:00 pm the Peregrine representative was there as promised waiting. I had to wait briefly before heading to the hotel because there was another couple getting in from Miami that he was also picking up. In five days I would meet that same couple again on my Galapagos cruise!
The hotel was welcoming and I just settled in and slept that night as I would have an early start in the morning.
The next morning I was up and ready to go by 8:00am but I didn’t get the message that the tour start had been pushed back to 9:00am. Oh well I went and had another coffee and croissant to wait for the tour leader.
Mauro Ghovez (I think that is how it is spelt?) showed up and apologized for the confusion. He was very nice, we headed off to pick up the other person that would be joining us. As it turns out there would be only two of us and Mauro on the tour. We picked up Carole and we were on our way to the equator. Carole and I got along GREAT and you will hear more about her in future posts, especially our stay at the Stephen King hotel which I believe bonded us for life!
The tour went great, we saw almost everything on the itinerary. We missed a few stops but I enjoyed everything I saw so much and the company was so enjoyable that I have no complaints. Mauro was friendly, knowledgeable and loved talking about Ecuador. He was also a very good driver, funny and handsome to boot!
Leaving the four day Quito tour I was feeling very optimistic about how the Galapagos tour would go.
The night after my four day tour ended we met Diego Ch (that’s what the card says, is Ch a last name?) who thoroughly explained what would happen the next day, what we could expect from the tour and answered any questions we had. The next morning Diego was there on time to take us to the airport, he handled everything. Getting the tickets, checking our bags, explained that we needed to listen for the announcement of our gate and then bid us good-bye.
Listening for our gate was the most confusing part of the gate and it was as our flight time approached that Cathy (Cathy and Rod were joining me on the tour to the Galapagos) went and started to ask about our flight. It was confusing but we did make it on our flight. This was not Peregrine’s fault, this was airport confusion and I don’t see how it could be avoided.
In the Galapagos we were met by a guide and taken to see sea lions and then the tortoises before joining our the rest of our tour group for the cruise. It went very smoothly and once on the boat we met Fabian Bucheli, who is awesome! I can not imagine having a better guide. He is thoughtful, considerate, takes care of everyone, encourages everyone, knows SO MUCH, he is passionate about the Galapagos and Ecuador. He is a big part of the reason the cruise was such a great experience. He also got a Galapagos stamp in my passport for me. When we flew in we didn’t get a stamp but others on the cruise who had flown into a different airport did get a stamp. When we were leaving Fabian took my passport and got me a stamp at the arrivals.
I am so pleased with the way everything was run, with everything I saw, with the guides and will definitely use Peregrine again. When you go on holiday you don’t want to have to worry and I felt that I was in very good hands with all the Peregrine.
The following posts over the next few weeks will be about what I saw while on my tours. So much was packed into my twelve days and I already want to go back (also want to go to Easter Island and Tierra Del Fuego) South America is so welcoming and was just as wonderful as I remember from my Peru/Bolivia trip that I took several years ago. My love affair with South America will continue, perhaps with Peregrine!