*Originally posted September 2017*
At the end of March (2017), a group of students including myself from Marine & Natural History Photography at Falmouth University ventured off for the trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands.
March 28th we headed off. Starting at Heathrow Airport, we made our way through numerous time zones, 3 lots of airport security and over 24 hours of travelling! Eventually we made it, exhausted but excited for the adventures that lay ahead.
I signed myself up as the Head of Social Media for the trip and so a full blog can be found on our Galapagos page I set up. This will be a more brief blog about the trip and my personal experiences so head over to the main one for a full insight into our incredible trip:
I didn't really know what to expect before we left for the trip. An occasional google search and some questions asked to the previous year group about their experiences was just about it. All I knew was that it would be extremely hot, extremely tiring but most of all a once in a lifetime experience.
We were very fortunate to be able to stay on the actual Charles Darwin Foundation site where the scientists and volunteers usually live.
The rooms were extremely basic and you had to be able to cope with lots of creepy crawlies if you were to be able to set foot and sleep in these rooms for near enough 2 weeks! One night I happened to place something in the sink in our room and as I did a cockroach the size of house jumped out. I have never screamed so hard in my life to the point where the other coursemates ran in wondering what the hell had happened. Safe to say I didn't sleep very well that night...
With humidity of over 70% and air conditioning in the rooms consisting of one fan mounted on the wall, the heat was really hard to deal with sometimes. Don't get me wrong I feel very fortunate to have been able to even stay there however the heat was pretty unbearable and tiring at times!
I will insert photos where I can however I dropped my phone 2 days before leaving and lost all the photos from my phone :(((
Looking back it doesn't feel real. The fact that I went to the Galapagos feels like a dream.
It's hard to choose an exact memory that I count as a favourite however a couple of strong highlights of the trip both took place whilst snorkelling. The first being in Santa Fe on day 5. The snorkelling team had the opportunity of snorkelling with sea lions which was INCREDIBLE. *yes that is a picture (taken from a gopro video) of me swimming with sea lions as well as getting photobombed below! - still 5 months on and I can't believe I had this opportunity.*
The second highlight was on one of the final days when our entire group went snorkelling. Out of nowhere 2 marine iguanas appeared and swam right in front of me. Footage can be found in my youtube video from the trip. Details about that are below however for now here is a screengrab.
We got up to so much whilst we were out there as well as staying on two different islands during the trip. We carried out workshops for the locals and the volunteers so they could learn more about photography and how to improve their photographs. These workshops seemed to go down a treat. We also kayaked alongside Penguins, Blue footed Booby's and other various birds. We hiked to beaches, had boat trips, saw ancient tortoises and learnt about the work going on to protect them and of course had at least one night of getting drunk!
On one of the days the group climbed a volcano with spectacular views at the top. By this point I was absolutely exhausted so I passed on that day trip to have a chill out day and recover for the last couple of days. We swam in some beautiful crystal clear waters, walked miles upon miles, took thousands of photos between us and even had an unexpected delay in Ecuador for 24 hours.
Another lovely part of the trip was getting to know everyone. A lot of us hadn't really spoken much around University however we all left the trip feeling so much closer to one another. If anyone was having a down day then we helped each other up.
Below are some of the photos I took on my Sony a65 as well as a Nikon D810.
You can see more from the trip on my YouTube:
There will also be an official Galapagos Video in collaboration with Galapagos Verde/Charles Darwin and Falmouth University which I am working on at the moment.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!