Of the islands travelers can visit without taking a cruise ship, I was most interested in Floreana; my novel “Enchanted Islands” is based on the life of Frances Conway, who lived there with her husband, Ainslie, in the 1930s and 40s. Conway was the author of two memoirs about their lives as homesteaders. I fell in love with her witty descriptions of Floreana life, her self-deprecating stories of foibles thereon and her reluctance to admit that she and her husband might have been spies for the United States. In short, a ripe subject for novelization. I took the inter-island boat to spend some time there. These trips fill up, so book from Puerto Ayora as soon as your plans are firm; any of the plethora of travel agencies along Avenida Darwin can help you purchase a ticket ($45). The two-hour trip, on hard benches, is a bumpy, sunburning voyage that you’ll wish was quickly over (note that depending on the weather the trip can be pleasant or nightmarish; in truly inclement weather, boats don’t run).
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