The New Flamingo
Beginning November 3rd, the New Flamingo will be my home for eight days. It’s a small, older boat that only sleeps 10 people. I’ve been forewarned that this boat is definitely a no-frills, tourist-class type craft. Barebones travel through the Galapagos. No luxury. That warning is very much to my liking. That means that in addition to being much cheaper, the class of people onboard will probably be much hardier and adventuresome. I’ve had experience sailing on multi-day, deep-sea fishing trips on boats smaller than this, so this ought to be a piece of cake.
Cabin with Two Bunks
The cabins are described as being very small and cramped, with two bunks per cabin. Each cabin has its own head (toilet) and shower (probably cold water). The boat has five such cabins, totalling ten bunks (thus ten people). Most of the crew sleep on deck. Since Joel will not be accompanying me on this excursion, I will be curious to see who I get as a bunk-mate. I’ve put in a request for a young, tall, blonde & blue-eyed Scandinavian-type female—wish me luck.
Something like this would probably work just fine. I’m not too picky. I can be charming when put to the test (well I can be), and alcohol can work wonders on an ocean cruise. Actually this is a picture of the actress Britt Eckland in her younger days.
Dining looks to be a rather intimate affair, but that should be romantic for my Scandinavian bombshell and me. Actually all meals are included in the price of the trip, and reportedly are pretty good considering that they’re simple and traditional (translated to mean chicken, fish, rice and beans). But I’ve lived and eaten simple for a long time now, so I don’t anticipate any problems. Living in the jungles of Nicaragua, on the Rio San Juan, for a month was definitely a no-frills, barebones experience, and I survived it.
It’s all about the exploration, photography and adventure for me anyway. The social aspect is just the price to be paid (except for my bombshell). I am not looking for the all-inclusive, luxury cruise ship experience (that can wait until I’m almost dead). The Galapagos can be very expensive to visit, so this bargain deal is right up my alley and budget. I am just counting the days.
If you’re curious: 8 days/7 nights = $1,250 USD; Roundtrip airfare Quito/Baltra Island = $450 USD plus $20 USD for a Transit Control Card and $100 USD National Park Entrance Fee. Everything else is included, except alcoholic beverages and tips. My total cost = $1,820 USD/$225 USD per day. It ain’t cheap, but compared to the other Galapagos oceangoing adventures it’s a real bargain. SFD
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveler
Quito, Ecuador (heading to the Galapagos Islands)