We just returned from our trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands. My family and I remain in awe of all the beauty and amazing things we experienced. However, our trip was not without a few unexpected and unplanned changes. Upon disembarking we received our luggage on the tarmac at the Baltra Airport. The airport is very small. There is a pavilion and a strip of asphalt and there is no plane in sight. After a thirty minute wait, we were told that the airport is closed because of a pot-hole in the runway and it will be several days before it can be repaired.
Knowing the we were eager to get home, the guides from our trip made an executive decision. We were told to pick up our luggage and return to the boat. The captain cruised at maximum speed to get us to the San Cristobal airport. Some of the passengers clung to the top deck, green and seasick from the choppy ride and a few enjoyed the adventure. As the boat pulled up to dock, the flight took off without us. Despite their best effort it just wasn’t time for us to leave. Since flights were unable to leave after dark and it was already dusk we were brought to a hotel. Luckily the guides didn’t have any issues finding accommodations for 35. The staff was so hospitable and we enjoyed a delicious meal paired with an endless supply of red wine.
The following afternoon another flight arrived to take us to Guayaquil to meet our connecting flights. My fellow travelers were angry, to say the least. Many were already due back at work and yelled at the tour company guides, the airline staff, and family members. Unfortunately, some of these outwardly angry people were members of my family and I could not help but be embarrassed. My husband and I are tried to take a different approach and enjoyed our “extra” days away.
We took a step back and looked at the situation. There was another group embarking on the boat that dropped us off. They would be missing two full days of their trip. Granted, they would receive a discount on their trip but I would much rather see two more days of the Galapagos then receive a discount. We were not able to get back to work and school on the days that we had planned. This was rather inconvenient and somewhat costly, but I am so grateful that I was able to enjoy the Galapagos Islands and all of their beauty for the full week. After traveling extensively in Central and South America, I have realized that traveling is not always smooth process. There is always something that goes wrong, but the outcome may depend on the traveler’s response to the situation. Hopefully you too will have the opportunity to visit the Galapagos, but remember to have flexibility in your return date, just in case! Happy Travels!