Despite lost luggage, a touch of turista, some seasickness and a painful encounter with jellyfish while snorkeling, the Galapagos trip was pretty damned fabulous. From our arrival at the ship's dock -- where we had to step over sea lions sunning themselves on the gangplank -- to the final day of swimming with adorable small penguins, we hiked and kayaked and snorkeled amongst fascinating wildlife -- wildlife that found us neither fascinating nor frightening.
Highlights for me were the famous blue-footed boobies and their fluffy white chicks and the magnificent red and green Christmas iguanas, but I also loved the bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs skittering across the black volcanic rocks, the flamingos bobbing for krill and the giant tortoises lumbering beneath the mangrove trees.
The food? Nowhere near as notable. We did have a first-rate fish dinner in Guayaquil, some very tasty roast pork from a whole piglet on our ship and some good ceviche at a hotel on Santa Cruz Island.
With the ceviche they served popcorn -- to be stirred into the ceviche to provide crunch. Sometimes it was typical movie-theater popcorn and at other times the kernels had been deep fried to a golden brown. Sounds weird but it was strangely addicting.
Lots of mousses, flans and platters of fresh fruit served at dessert time, but my favorite sweet treats were the fabulously tender shortbread cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche. Good enough to make one boogie like a blue-footed booby.