Life Begins At...

Life Begins At ...Autumn 2017

Life Begins At.....

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covered in Sally Lightful crabs. Marine Iguanas pecked at green algae on shore, while Lava Lizards played cat and mouse on the beach. Puerto Egas was formerly a salt mine, with some old buildings remaining. Take care if you take a leap into the sea, the waves have a tendency to crash onto the shallow reef, but the risk can be worth it - it is adorned with schools of Surgeonfi sh and vibrant Parrot Fish. RABIDA ISLAND - A VISIT TO MARS Red, everything is red except for the plant life on Rabida Island. There are cactus growing on the hill sides, and pelicans hunting in the shallows. The seas are alive with leaping Manta Rays, and Stingrays fl apping in the shallows. THE ORCAS There are two resident groups in the Galapagos led by alpha males - one named Nacho has 12 females, and the other, Beta, has 22 females. There's also a big migratory group. Eight years ago, we were sailing between Fernandina and Isabella Islands when we saw fi ve Orcas killing a Bryde's Whale. They were getting on top of it and sinking the whale so it couldn't breathe. Unbelievably, they ate the tongue, after which the sharks moved in. THE M/Y ERIC We cruised on the luxurious M/Y Eric, which has 10 staterooms with private bathrooms. This motor yacht is operated by a well-oiled team. The rooms are attended to every day, and all land tours/snorkelling are run in a timely and effi cient manner. There is a briefi ng each night to let guests know the following day's activities. Guests can set their own pace, and you don't have to do all the onshore or boating activities if you so choose. The cuisine is superb, with a smorgasbord for breakfast and lunch, set tables for dinner. Some nights, dinner was followed by the singing duo - Segundo and Freddie, who sang Bachata Rosa, a song from the Dominican Republic. The song is about a man who fi nds a rose on the street, and gives it to his lover. I think that cruises like these are also remarkably more rewarding when you have entertaining and knowledgeable guides. THE NEW MV ORIGIN VESSEL The MV Origin is the latest addition to the Ecoventura fl eet. The 142 ft long 'luxury' mega yacht/'expedition' cruise ship, accommodates 20 passengers, in 10 deluxe staterooms, all on the main deck. Each stateroom has a private bathroom, with twin beds. The ship has a crew of 13, including two nature guides. Onboard facilities include a sun deck with jacuzzi and wet bar, day beds and fi tness centre. Most importantly, they have a 'gourmet menu' with both indoor and al- fresco dining, and cooking demonstrations. EcoVentura continues to operate its three other yachts, the M/Y Eric, M/Y Letty and M/Y Flamingo. All three are 'superior fi rst class yachts', although the new MV Origin is now the 'star' of the fl eet. W I T H T O N Y K A R A C S O N Y I HOW TO GET THERE Fly to Guayaquil or Quito in Ecuador with LAN, via Santiago. This is a much easier route than fl ying via the USA. Other than the long fl ight to Ecuador, the travelling is quite easy. If staying in Quito there are many cosy guest houses such as Cafe Cultura, Hostal Imperial on Juan Rodriguez St, and the Mi Veja Cuba. HOW TO BOOK website email By THE RETIREE 93 Autumn 2017

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