Galapagos

Old Aug 30th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Galapagos

My wife and I are planning to go to the Galapagos in 2008. I am 69 and in pretty good physical shape but my wife had a hip replaced and knee surgery and I don't know how strenous this trip will be for her. Can someone advise us of a tour operator that deals with older people?
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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I have read that some of the larger boats (and I think Celebrity is one) have different levels of strenuousness for their daily excursions. Such options would work well for you.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 07:57 AM
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We were in Galapagos in February of 2006 on the Eclipse - the age range was fairly broad and two of the passengers had significant physical challenges (mainly age related) - the crew went out of their way to make their trip enjoyable - shortened walks/hikes and/or boat trips - in addition it was a lovely boat and I notice it has just been refurbished.

Here's a link to the Eclipse website

http://www.oceanadventures.com.ec/

And to our really long blog

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...gos/index.html

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 09:05 AM
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My husband and I just returned from a trip to Galapagos and Machu Picchu. I am in my 60's and broke my back and wrist in Jan 2007. We traveled with Natural Habitat Adventures on the small boat Letty for 7 days in the Galapagos Aug 2007.

We were given some options on the shore excursions, but a lot of times the option was to stay on board the ship. Another man from UK who was 80, had knee problems and so the two of us kept each other company when we did not complete or go on an excursions. Often there were others who opted out of the excursions to read a book on deck. The time on board was very relaxing as well and offered lovely scenery and interesting wildlife and birds. There were times when it was a definite "no" for him and myself as well. We both used a cane to provide support while walking on the lava rocks on some of the islands. Some of the steeper trails were a challenge for me and we both sat out the climb on Isabella Island due to the steepness of the initial climb. We did however see sea lions swimming near boat, a group of frigate and blue footed boobies diving for fish, while on board. The crew brought the group back to the boat and we joined them for the panga ride to see penguins and other birds along the coast of the island.

Most of the walks (2 to 3 hours in length) on the islands were at a slow pace with stops along the way. Most of my pain comes when I have to stand for too long in one spot while listening to the explanations. There were very little places to sit down during these discussions. The temperature during this time of year was pleasant and not too hot, but it was the cooler time of year. I was glad we choose this time of year as I could not imagine this trip if the temperature was hotter or rainy.

Since it was during the drier season when we were in the Galapagos, we did not have very many times when the rocks were slippery. I would think this would be a problem in other times of the year and should be considered.

I agree with atravelynn that a larger ship would offer more options for the walks or optional panga rides in lieu of strenuous walks. I would check into the larger ships. Intrav offers a larger boat excursion using the Santa Cruz combined with trip to Machu Picchu. The agents at Intrav could answer questions about their cruises to Galapagos.

The guides on our ships were very helpful during the trip. The smaller ships tend to have more chance for seasickness which also might be a factor in your decision. We did enjoy our ship/crew/guides and the small group that the small ship offered. The food was good, the guides excellent and the length of trip cruising the Galapagos - 7 days - was just about right.

The extension to Machu Picchu was 6 days with days in Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and then Machu Picchu involved a lot of walking as well. The steps and walking was strenuous, but at a slow enough pace. Again the steps at Machu Picchu and other ruins were steep and not slippery while we were there, but can be at other times of the year. The man from UK (80) and I both used our canes to aid in our climbs up the steep steps. We made most of the walks.

You can purchase a collapsible metal cane with rubber tip at most drug stores and it can easily be packed in your checked luggage for use on the trip.

Galapagos and Machu Picchu had been on our list of places to visit and am glad that we have seen both of these places now. Both would have been more fun when we were younger or when not encumbered by physical limitations.

If you have any questions, I will be glad to answer. Hope you are able to find a tour that will work for you.

Granny Joan


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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Glad to read a bit about your Galapagos trip, GrannyJoan.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Posted too soon. Was there any sleeping with tortoises? I mean that in the most wholesome way.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Lynn,

We had the opportunity to camp out in the Highlands on Santa Cruz island to view the galapagos turtles. We opted out of this adventure as we did not have extra shoes that were needed for a muddy walk that night at the camp. It was a toss up on this camping option and had wanted to participate in the event, but decided that since it was at a regular camp site so to speak that it would nto be the adventure we thought it might be if it had been on one of the other islands.

Those that did go to the island, experienced a very wet crossing in pangas to the island from the boat and then a very drizzly rainy evening overnighting. So most were miserable in wet and muddy clothes all night. We stayed on board the boat and had a relaxing evening and a nice hot shower, before we headed in a bus to meet the group the next morning. We saw three tortoises in the wild while driving to the camp site, while the group saw none.

We then toured Darwin Research Center and a Tortoise Reserve. Both very interesting.

We saw fantastic birds on this trip and got lots of nice photos.

Photos from this trip can be viewed at:
http://tinyurl.com/2t5ucw

Note: There are two parts the photos and they can be reached by clicking on Part 1 or Part 2 at the top of Part 1 Page.

I have not written trip report yet.

-Granny Joan





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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 09:07 PM
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Thanks GrannyJoan for the response. So much for the tortoise slumber party, at least on your trip. You lucked out, though. Hope the folks that were miserable and wet had a good sense of humor. Great photos. You caught lots of birds in flight.
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