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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Sailing the Galapagos Islands on Ecoventura’s Theory

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel.

From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.   

Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting.

Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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Lisa Ellen Niverhttp://www.wesaidgotravel.com/
Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

Read my articles, “Traveling to my Dream Destination: The Galapagos Islands,” to see videos 1, 2 and 3, and “Traveling on Ecoventura’s Theory in the Galapagos Islands” for video 4, 5 and 6, and below to see our amazing days in video 7, 8, 9 and 10 “Bays and Beaches” Itinerary A on Ecoventura’s Theory.

Video 7: Beautiful Las Bachas and Bartolome Dec 13 2019

At Playa Las Bachas on the northern side of Santa Cruz, we walked near a white sand beach where turtles lay their eggs. We saw a flamingo, we saw three marine iguanas in courtship, and we saw four black-neck stilt birds that were so beautiful. It was an amazing walk. We also saw pelicans and sally lightfoot crabs and more iguanas.

Back onboard, Chef Estuardo prepared a grilled feast with lobster, octopus, chicken and special Ecuadorian sauces. We ate on the sun deck and enjoyed our luxury mega-yacht with stunning views.

In the afternoon, we did one of the most amazing snorkels of my life! We were near Bartholome and we saw penguins, sharks, rays and turtles! It was thrilling! Three penguins swam by me, around me, it was like they were dancing with me. I loved it! I saw three white tip reef sharks and several turtles! WOW! It was too bad that the camera did not work on that adventure but I will always remember it. It was phenomenal. Captain Jhon went snorkeling with us and he loved it too!

We hiked up 400 steps on wooden planking at Bartolome Island for a spectacular panoramic view of Pinnacle Rock. We had a group photo and we saw many islands.

After our hike, we went on a boat ride and then we saw, even more penguins, and a great blue heron. For sunset, we sat on the sundeck with fresh pizza, fantastic drinks and watched as the sun painted the sky.

We had a marvelous meal in the restaurant with many choices on the menu and then the crew turned into a band and we danced the night away! See the next video for all of the music and dancing!

Video 8: Music and Dancing all night long on Ecoventura’s Theory in the Galapagos

It was a truly spectacular day in Galapagos.

Video 9: South Plaza and North Seymour are Super Dec 14 2019

The South Plaza islands were incredible; in the morning, we saw yellow land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls and colorful sesuvium portulacastrum. There were seven baby sea lions playing together in a pool of water. I could not stop taking photos and video of them. They were adorable. It was like sea lion day care! There were iguanas jumping up onto the Opuntia or prickly pear cactus leaves for a juicy bite. Some of them were suspended in air while chewing! Two iguanas had a pushing match and that was all before our walk island the island.

As we looked out over the cliff edge, we could see several red-billed tropicbirds with their 2 long streaming tail feathers. I loved walking on the path seeing iguanas, many birds and coming back to the water to see the bachelor sea lions frolicking in the water.

In the afternoon, we went deep water snorkeling and saw nearly  50 manta rays. That was marvelous! I absolutely loved it!

Later in the day at North Seymour Island, we saw frigate birds with the red gular sacs in their throats puffed up looking for mates. We saw golden tuffed juvenile frigates and blue footed boobies sitting on their eggs and with their chicks. It was amazing. We saw many more sea lions. We saw more iguanas and many lava lizards. Do you know how to tell the different between the great and magnificent frigate birds? I was wondering if there was a just okay frigate bird but there is not. The great frigate bird has a green sheen on the plumage on their backs while the magnificence has a purple iridescence in the sunlight. The females are larger than the males.

Back on board, Betsy and I hula hooped on the sun deck. I have hula hooped on trains, yachts and with villagers in Vanuatu. I carry a hula hoop in my luggage.

Our Captain’s farewell party was wonderful but we were all sad at the final briefing when they were talking about the last hike and the last snorkel. I tried to remember: “Don’t be sad that it is over, be glad that you were here!”

The creatures of the Galapagos are waiting for you and the crew of the Theory is the best in the business. I hope you have an amazing exploration of the Galapagos Islands.

Video 10: Leaving Theory and Galapagos for Guayaquil Dec 15 2019

After our final breakfast, we took our last panga ride to the pier and said good-bye to Theory. We walked through the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal and learned about the human history of the Galapagos Islands.

We took a bus ride into town and had free time to wander. I found t-shirts to buy as souvenirs and took a few more photos of sea lions on the pier.

We flew back to Guayaquil from San Cristobal and I stayed at Oro Verde Hotel. They have several restaurants, a pool and a fitness center. The hotel is very convenient and walked to Iglesia El Sagrario, Parque Seminario where I saw many iguanas and small turtles, and Malecon 2000. I walked through Barrio Las Penas and saw a holiday dance performance by two student groups.

Thank you so much to Ecoventura and the entire crew on Theory. My journey in the Galapagos Islands, Las Islas Encantadas or the Enchanted Islands was magical!

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