The Galapagos Affair

August 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

If you are planning a trip to Galapagos Islands there are many excellent books covering the national history of the islands, identifying birds, fish and flora – but if you are looking for something a little different to prepare you for your journey I would suggest the book The Galapagos Affair by John Treherne.

This is a true story of the early settlers of the Galapagos set on the island of Floreana in the 1930’s. Its a titillating story of sex, murder and mystery.  The are a cast of quirky characters from the Doctor and his lover who each left spouses behind in Germany (not to mention their teeth) to set up life on an island in the middle of the Pacific they considered the modern-day Garden of Eden.

There where the Wittmer Family; Heinz, his teenage son, and pregnant wife who came to Floreana to have a Swiss Family Robinson type experience.  The Wittmer’s baby is none other than the respected captain Rolf Witmmer the owner of the Tip Top Fleet who have been providing Galapagos Cruises for more than three decades.

The Baroness and Her Entourage Photo courtesy of Rolf Wittmer

The most unusual of the residents the “Baroness” Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bosque accompanied by her two young German lovers and a third man from Ecuador Manuel Valdivieso who was hired to do all the work.  The Baroness or as she later named herself “Queen” was the cause of the tension on the island.  Between being accused of spreading rumors to passing boat captains and stealing mail and fighting between her many lovers the island was ripe with drama.

Galapagos affair tells the story of these early settlers of the Galapagos and how in the course of just a couple months 3 of them would die and two of them would disappear forever.  If this story sounds more Hollywood than true to life – you’re partially right.  It is a true story but the story has been made into a major motion picture rumored to star Kristen Scott Thomas, Javier Bardem and Juliette Binoche.

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