Galapagos Serious, Khaki People
21 April 2018
The South Pacific has the Society Islands and the Friendly Islands. I have come up with a name for the Galapagos archipelago, the Serious Islands. Tourists here don't smile. They are on a serious, eco-tourism mission.
We have anchored in the three major ports for Galapagos. These ports are stops for the myriad of small, cruise ships that ply these waters. Each of these cruise ships has large RIBs (rigid bottom inflatables, like Navy Seals use) to take the tourists ashore. They are constantly going back and forth past Uproar. Now it is an absolute rule that people on boats wave to each other. Not so for these tourists. We wave and occasionally get a reluctant wave in return. The boat driver is more apt to wave to us, the tourists just stare.
But how do I know they are staring? They are all wearing the uniform: khaki Tilly style hat, Columbia SPF 70 shirt, Khaki pants with zip-off legs and sturdy, tropical hiking shoes. With those hats and sunglasses, who knows where they are looking. Even in the resorty towns with fun restaurants, the uniform must be worn and don't dare smile! In the Caribbean Islands, we dub the tourists “Pink People” due to sunburn on their mostly exposed skin. They are dancing and drinking like crazy on the excursion boats they are packed into. In Galapagos we have the “Khaki People.”
The locals more than make up for it. As usual for places we visit, the local people are warm, friendly and generous. We especially like the water taxi guys. But who wouldn't be happy with a job driving a boat all day?
I'm sure the Khaki People are enjoying their Galapagos tour. But why can't they just smile a bit and put on a “Love the Boobies” t-shirt?