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Last minute Galapagos Tours | How to get one 2017

Me in the Galapagos islands

Me in the Galapagos islands getting ready to book a last minute tour.

So my name is Duncan and as you know I’m a full time magician and mind reader from the UK. In February 2017 I decided to fulfill a dream to head out to the Galapagos Islands. The last time I came near was when I visited Ecuador 5 years before and was going to pay for a cruise then but upon seeing a couple of bleached blonde haired guys (yep guys) counting out wads of dollars I decided to swerve a booking in favor of heading south to do a lost City Trek in Colombia which was incredible!

That said my heart still yearned to visit the small islands so synonymous with beauty, wildlife, Darwin and more recently David Attenborough in his exquisite Galapagos islands series.

I’m writing this now 3 days after visiting so am if you are reading this in the past tense was single, 35 and happy to do my own thing as much as anything. On looking around the internet there was very little or sparse information about booking a last minute cruise on the Galapagos islands and anything there was was not particularly coherent so I thought I’d detail my blue print for an amazing tour!

Lets start with flights:

Fly to Guayaquil. Why? Its one of the biggest hubs in central America and at some point to get to the Galapagos islands you will pass through there. Do be fooled into think you can fly to the Galapagos from Quito. You can, but will end up sitting on the plane whilst it then goes to Guayaquil.

99% of people with then fly to Baltra airport in the Galapagos islands. Its the main airport and to get to the biggest town on the Galapagos (Puerto Ayora) you have to take a free bus to a canal, then pay $1 to cross a stretch of water and then $4 on a bus into town. The last stop is the main central area. It sounds complicated but when you get there, this format just flows – because everyone does it.

So – you’ve got your flight to Guayaquil. You then need to book a flight to the Galapoags. My advice after speaking the with Consulate to confirm if its okay is to book a one-way trip to Galapagos (gives you more time to play with if you wanted to book an earlier flight dependent on the departure an arrival schedule of your cruise)

So you’re now in Puerto Ayora.

Where to stay? I pre-booked 2 nights through hostel bookers at the Galapagos Best Hones stay. It about 2km out of town but its not exactly and unpleasant walk – quite the opposite – but it is hot. (At least in Feb it is) I like to pre-book so at least I can settle down and have a base. There are loads of other hostels in town so dont be fooled into thinking there are only 3 – which there appeared to be when I looked on hosteler bookers.

So you have your accommodation, flights and made it into Puerto Ayora. I’m now going to shatter a myth…..

Wait for it.

There’s no such thing as a last minute tour. What?! Seriously?!

Yes.

I am a hustler by nature and I spent 5 hours in ALL tour agencies investigating the options etc. What did I find? Despite every single tour operator saying they had last minute deals – there aren’t really so. Nonetheless – my pre planning suggested I should visit the heavy hitter islands of the Galapagos. However there is so much mis-information you may struggle to understand it yourself.

You cannot see all islands on a tour.

The most remote and therefore having the fewest tours are Fernandina, Isabela and Genovesa. These are the most untouched but as I said fewer tours and definitely more expensive. The other islands of Floreana and Espanola and San Cristobal and Santiago is often a Southern route or combination of these.

You will read in many places – more often than not there are 3 popular options to visiting the Galapagos islands.

  1. Do it yourself. Arrange day tours.
  2. Do a 5 day 4 night cruise.
  3. Do an 8 day 7 night cruise.

Before I go into the pro and cos of each. Let me recap me. I love to hustle the best deal. I love to travel. I know I only live once. That’s me in a nutshell. If you want to get drunk stay in a pricey hostel and eat fine food preceding your tour – these recommendations my not be as applicable to you.

My thoughts – you’ve come all this way – the experience you will have by doing day tours will be seriously poor compared to the others. Why? The boats will not go as far – by the time you get top the day trip you’ll have to turn around. You have way less time to enjoy breakfast and the sunrise etc.

5 day 4 night cruise – definitely a cheaper option than the latter, however, these days become heavily reduced in activity by the time you get picked up at midday on the first day and dropped off in the early hours on the final morning. Don’t be fooled.

The 8 day 7 night tour is definitely the pricey option but most recommended by those who really want to experience the Galapagos islands – but again the first and last day are somewhat subject to being culled for picking up and dropping off passengers….

With those thoughts in mind…the next blog post will be the actual decision I made and the tour I booked, where you can book it, prices, timings etc and other activities……

Magician for hire | A magician to hire for your wedding

Magician for hire

Magician for hire – Duncan William

So, you’ve probably stumbled across this page because you are looking for a magician to hire?

Duncan William is often the ‘go to’ entertainer when you are looking to hire a magician. His skill sets are extremely versatile and he has been hired as magician in Nottingham, Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Sheffield and  London for the best part of 15 years.

Be it cards, coins, or telling you your star sign just by looking at you – Duncan’s act is highly commercial, fun, interactive and is guaranteed to leave your guests laughing in amazement.

Private party or wedding magician to hire

Finding the perfect entertainment solution for your party or wedding can always be tricky. Magician Nottingham, Duncan William can tailor his performance and service to your event. His act is highly commercial and contemporary and doesn’t have that whiff of sleaze or schmooze that some entertainers have.

Duncan doesn’t need a table – and can mix and mingle freely between guests or clients – whilst the buffet is being served, as people are sipping bubbly or nibbling hors d’oeuvres. His magic can be performed in small groups, 1 on 1, or play to larger audience of thousands. How much more do you need for flexibility?

A recent review came in for someone who hired Duncan as the magician of choice for her 30th wedding anniversary:

“We hired Duncan to perform magic at our wedding anniversary. We had 130 guests who came from all over the world so we wanted something extra special. We booked Duncan for 2 hours and would have liked him to stay for longer (which he did) and his magic and mind reading went down extremely well!

Some of our guests who had come from Australia and New Zealand, who stayed the night were still talking about him in the morning. If anyone was considering hiring a magician or entertainer for their event – then look no further than Duncan – 10 out of 10!!”

A Look at Magic Around the World

International Magician

International Magician

When we think of magic, we think of an entertainer in a suit, standing on a stage making the crowd laugh and performing some sort of illusion. In the past, when we thought of magic we thought of a wand, cape, and a funny shaped hat. While most of us think of magic from that perspective, around the world people see magic differently. In this article, we will be discussing some traditional forms of magic, rather than the modern side of magic that most of us think about. So, let’s take a look around the world.

Onmyodo

In Japan, one of the oldest magic traditions is known as “Onmyodo”. This tradition was originally developed with the inclusion of beliefs from several religions (such as Buddhism and Taoism) however it is believed that the tradition has been adapted from a similar Chinese magic tradition. The tradition itself has been accepted as using a similar system to divination (when the magician is able to look into water, or more commonly in the present a cup of tea, and tell the future).

Nagual

Nagual is strongly believed by those who are considered in the Mesoamerican folk religion. When someone is known as a “Nagual”, it is believed that they are able to transform themselves into an animal form (either in spiritual or physical form). The range of animals in this belief is endless, ranging from the most common jaguar, to the rarer coyote. Naguals are commonly referred to as shapeshifters, and are often feared.

Quimbanda

As we take a step into the black magic side of things, Quimbanda is a cult tradition in the Brazilian region. The tradition is believed to be strongly associated with the dark lord and is based on the belief that the only way to contact and make a connection with God, is to be possessed by darkness. This darkness consists of 2 spirits, Exu and Pomba gira. These spirits are believed to consist of spirits of dark individuals such as conmen and even darker souls, prostitutes.

Witch Doctors

Witch Doctors are traditionally used in third world countries and are believed to use witchcraft as a method of healing those in need. The original idea behind Witch Doctors is to use only traditional methods of healing (with the use of witchcraft), rather than using modern medication.

Feri Tradition

The final tradition that we will be discussing is the “Feri Tradition”. This tradition can be considered as more modern than the rest, given that it was originally created in the 1900’s, compared to other traditions that have been around for centuries. This tradition focuses on the belief of a human soul and that it consists of 3 separate souls.

– The first soul takes is in control of our brains functionality.
– The second soul is in control of our brain when it is in a subconscious state.
– The third soul deals with the realms which have been immaterialised.

A popular aspect of the Feri Tradition is “The Black Heart of Innocence”. Reaching this state is done by ensuring that your three souls have aligned and therefore produced a strong connection between yourself and the outer world. Once this has achieved, you are to be considered as having a pure and sensual sole. Those who preach this tradition live their lives hoping to reach this goal.

As you can see, there are a variety of different magic traditions across the globe, and none of them are anything close to what we see at home. There are hundreds of traditions just like these, so if these seem like something you’re interested in then you have plenty to research and choose from!

Duncan William has performed magic both nationally and internationally for the last 15 years including a 3 year residency in Japan. Here, Duncan looks at magic around the world. For more information about booking Duncan for both a UK and/or an international engagement, please do not hesitate to contact him on 07934 856 696 or email him on magic@magicduncan.co.uk for more information.