The day to travel to the Galapagos Islands finally came and came very early today….. I was up before 3:00 a.m. and I must say, extremely tired. We left the ship around 5:00 a.m. at the port of Manta, Ecuador and boarded a bus heading for the airport in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The bus ride was a definite low point for the trip…. rough unimproved roads, mud, rain and general discomfort were the norm. Oh, I forgot to mention… no stops. There was a restroom on the bus that was only good for light duty and you had to be an acrobat to use it with the extremely rough & bouncy ride. Anyway, I survived the ride and then it was off to the Galapagos Islands via TAME Airlines. The flight to the island of San Cristibol was about 1 ½ hours in duration, not too bad. It was fabulous to finally arrive in San Cristobal after a long journey. We were met at the airport by the crew of the M/V Galapagos Explorer II who picked us up and transported us to the dock area. We were taken aboard the M/V Galapagos Explorer II via zodiacs which would become our normal mode of transportation in the coming days. We got settled, had lunch and…. Yes, boat drill…. Our first “event” was a wet landing (you got off the zodiac into the water) at “Wizard Hill” on the island of San Cristobal. Our first visit ashore was fabulous. We saw amazing wildlife… sally light foot crabs, marine iguanas, sea lions, frigate birds, lava gulls, blue herons and much, much more. The beach was beautiful and the visit simply grand. Then it was back to the ship for a shower and lovely dinner. The evening did not provide the great sleep that I was anticipating sine the cabins were too hot and the beds were so hard it was like sleeping on the floor…..