We spent Saturday night at the Rabida, a small, charming hotel in Quito. My only complaint is that we arrived too late, and left too early, to enjoy the comforts of this hotel. We arrived at Quito airport a little after 5:00 pm, and were met by representatives of LatinTour, the owners and operators of our ship, the Nemo II. The representatives had our tickets and shepherded us throught the boarding process. The flight was shortish and uneventful, landing in Guayaquil on the mainland before proceeding to the airport on Baltra.
Once on Baltra, there was a bit of confusion. JumperGirl and I were looking for the wrong clue: we needed to be looking for someone from the Nemo II, not our tour packager, AdventureLife. That sorted out, we boarded a bus for the 5-minute drive to the pier where we'd be transported to the ship.
Once on board, we sat down in the spacious lounge for introductions
and sorting out into our cabins.
Our company comprised:
- Uta and Michael, from Germany, a couple I think a few years younger than I am
- Georgia and Robby, an Australian couple in their late 20s
- JumperGirl and myself
- Danny and Laura, a young couple from Vancouver, BC
- Keith and Leigh, a father-daughter pair from Texas. Leigh is a couple of years younger than JG
- Kenny, an accountant from Berkeley, and James, a business consultant from London, UK.
We set sail (well, motor) around the two small Daphne Islands, which don't currently have landing sites for tourists, and then had lunch:
Of course, the first thing we had to do was go topside and JG had to execute a a self-portrait:
While we didn't land on Daphne, the geology is clearly indicated by what erosions reveal:
In this image, you can see at least 3 different volcanic events: the light-colored layer at the bottom, then two or more darker-colored layers above, overlain by vegetation. Each of the islands has erupted at different times over the past, so the age of the islands are revealed by their vegetation.
This one shows a bit of a different layering: there's a darker layer on the bottom, then the lighter layer, then some more greyish material, then darker (and perhaps a harder layer), then the vegetation. So lava (or tufa or other flows) weren't uniform like cade icing over all this island.
This image, perhaps a more recent exposure, shows clearly that in the light-colored layers, there were many different events, shown by the layering effect. The same is true in the darker overlaying layers.
Then it was time for lunch, which was a rich vegetarian spaghetti, garlic toast, broccoli, a green salad, and watermelon and other melons (I think cantelope?) for dessert. We then motored north to North Seymour island for the first land tour.