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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  39 reviews
A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos. A breath-taking firsthand account of Wittmer's successful attempt to settle the island of Floreana.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 24th 2007 by Moyer Bell (first published January 1st 1961)
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I started reading this book after watching the documentary, "The Galapagos Affair - Satan Came to Eden". It is a crazy story about conflicts between people who left civilization to get away from it all, and it includes murder, intrigue, and mummies.

As it turns out, that story is just a blip in this book. This book is written by Margaret Wittmer, who with her husband and stepson, left Germany and moved to Floreana, a nearly uninhabited island in the Galapagos. I wasn't sure what to expect from th
Lα мαlα®
Bien, acabo de ver el documental "The Galapagos Affair" sobre los hechos que se cuentan en este libro y no creo que vaya a pegar un ojo mañana, ni pasado, ni nunca.

Si les gustan los documentales sobre misterios sin resolver, Ya se me van a mirarlo!! Ya! (Esta en Netflix)
Carol Feltes
I enjoyed reading of the family's adventures and how they survived and thrived in the face of many challenges. However, as a biologist and environmentalist living in the next century from this story, I squirmed uncomfortably through much of it. They took pride in doing things that could not, would not, be condoned now, and I had to force myself not to dwell on this reading. I also had the nagging feeling that there was a whole left out between the lines...and that the author quite deliberately g ...more
Apr 15, 2014 Melody rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Randie Sears
Recommended to Melody by: Mark Izard
Shelves: haveacopy
When I describe this book to my friends they assume I am recounting a work of fiction. And a pretty far-fetched and unbelievable work of fiction which includes: A dentist who pulls all his teeth to insure he will become a vegetarian;

a baroness who carries a gun and a whip and lives with her two lovers;

a family who begins their life on this almost deserted magical kingdom of a remote island living in a pirate's cave.

Plus at least one murder.

Each of the inhabitants on this small island far off
Karen B
An interesting story / memoir, but somewhat shallow...

I read this in several hours last night. It's certainly interesting, especially given how little I knew of the Galapagos Islands or their history. It's amazing what Margaret Wittmer and her family endured.

It's good as far as it goes, but at the end of the book, I found myself somewhat unsatisfied. The book would be so much better with more reflection or inclusion of Wittmer's thoughts and emotions (or those of her family). It read as if it wa
Getting to know Greta Wittmer was a pleasure (in spite of her ignorance when she said, "I stood in a lake. I had been working like a black for four hours".......)

The history of the Galapagos islands was interesting and the characters were really good people!

I have always wanted to visit the Galapagos islands but I always had the naive impression that they were in their orginal wild state. After this read I realize that, by now, they are probably completely stripped of Darwin's version of the isl
I read this on a flight to Ecuador to visit the Galapagos, so I had a special interest. I really enjoyed Wittmer's tale, an amazing story of triumph against horrid odds. Virtually alone on an island in the Pacific, six months pregnant, living in a cave, working all day. . . few people can match this experience. Wittmer tells her story well, with much fascinating detail.

I was also interested to hear how our guide's version of the Wittmers differed from Margret's tale. I think, being a descendant
This is a great example of a Living Book about a family who moves to the Galapagos Island of Floreana in 1932. The story is about the family, how they survived, and the interesting people who tried to live on the island or sailed in to see them. Nothing about Darwin but you get a sense of the flora and fauna on the island.
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book. I recently watched the documentary and am happy to know that the documentary was so closely correct to the story of the Wittmers life. I can't imagine what it would have been like as a young pregnant woman with 1 child already to care for and landing at such a desolate place to call home. And to accomplish all they did by hand and to live among people that you weren't to terribly fond of yet also have to be concerned that you may just need them some day. In the en ...more
This is a fascinating account of the life of Margaret and Heinz Wittmer, a German couple who settled on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos, about 600 miles from the mainland of Ecuador. They left Germany in 1932 in search of a new start and a place that was not yet touched by civilization. Margret was 5 months pregnant at the time and along with her step son Harry and her husband, they came ashore with 2 Alsatian dogs, later having 2 more children, a boy and a girl. This book gives us a goo ...more
I loved this book.
It was a great story about the struggles of a very gutsy German family. What a life they had. Having visited the Galapagos and spent a day on Floreana, it was fun to revisit all those sights again though Margret's experiences. I loved the island when I visited but reading this book has made me love it even more (and increased my desire to go back!) Having seen the caves where they lived and the springs where they drank and the hill top where they overlooked their island, I was
Carol Wakefield
Marvelous account of a couple and son starting a life on an island in the Galapagos chain. And indeed they started with only what they were ably to bring from Germany and carry themselves 4 miles to the land in the center of the island, they planned to establish as their farm. And with many ups and downs over many years the farm prospered ,children were born, a tourism business was founded children grew and continued the enterprises. None of it easily. A modern Robinson Crusoe story.
Entertaining book written by a woman who moved from Germany to one of the Galapagos islands (Floreana) in the 1930s. She arrived pregnant with her husband and stepson and lived there for 50+ years. Margret did a wonderful job conveying just how remote this island was at that time–I cannot imagine the courage it must have taken for her to get dropped off in the middle of nowhere and create a life for herself under the conditions she faced. Margret was a likable narrator with an incredible story. ...more
Ana Campanha
I feel empty after reading this book. I profoundly admire the courage of the Wittmer family and truly enjoyed their story. I was amazed by some events, saddened by others, but always hopeful that they would find their footing. I'm a biologist so I already knew lots of things about the Galapagos but now... now I just want to go there and experience everything those islands have to offer. A very inspiring story!
A Fantastic - I wish I had read before I went to the Galapagos. A German couple decide to move to the Galapagos with their son - when it's pretty much totally uninhabited. They make the land liveable, struggle with nature and animals and other settlers. Great, really interesting.
An interesting, but short, first-person account of a true pioneer family. It is hard to imagine living that life, and unusual to read the thoughts of the actual person who lived it. Definitely worth the read, albeit a short book.
Janet Reus


After reading this fascinating book I want to visit Floreana! I don't think I could have done everything as the Witmers did but I have a new respect for the lifestyle they chose!
True story about a German couple who settle on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos. Interesting look at what life was like when contact with the outside world is limited and unpredictable.
Robert L. Craven Jr.
A good read

A good read

as a bit of a recluse myself. I found this to be a good explanation of living a solitary but industrious was very enjoyable.
Mara Gerloni
I really liked the book. Good combination of historical details and narrative
I always wanted to see the Galapagos island and I found fascinating to know how the first people settled there
me entere sobre este libro en una paseo a la isla floreana, me atrajo las historias en torno a la isla. el libro fue escrito por una europea que residio en la isla floreana cuando en la isla residian pocos habitantes y comenzaron a florecer los escandalos en torno a la baronesa, entre otros. la narrativa describe las travesias de varias familias al atravesar oceanos para llegar a las tierras virgenes de las galapagos.
El texto tal vez carece un tanto de transiciones sútiles, pero es una historia
Nina Kasniunas
The writing isn't the best and the translation gets sloppy, but if you've ever been to the Galapagos, you will love this one.
Rebecca S
Perfect vacation reading for this lifelong Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.
Maiga Milbourne
I brought this book to the Galapagos & it made my stay that much richer. Wittmer is a surprisingly apt writer & her memoir is very readable. The intrigue & mystery surrounding the island of Floreana urged me to visit. I was so happy to walk to her fresh water springs with her voice still in my mind. Local residents contradict a lot of her story-- I'd love to keep reading up on the events of her life & their aftermath.

Definitely travel with this book if you plan a Galapagos trip!
Badly written. Peculiar deaths unexplained beg questions.
The true account of the Wittmer family's journey to Floreana and how they made a wilderness into a home is both fascinating and heartbreaking. Two events that happened during the time period covered by this book add a bit of intrigue. Who was the mysterious "Baroness?" And what of Dr. Ritter? This is one of my favorite books and I read it again and again.
I bought this book way back in 1984, perhaps my first used book purchase. I have read it over and over. This is a fascinating record of a German (or Austrian -- I forget) family's settlement of one of the Galapagos Islands. Sort of a real-life Swiss Family Robinson adventure. If I remember correctly, there are even pirates...
Written by a German women, who in the 30's decided to leave civilization with her husband and stepson and went to a small island in the Galapago's to build a home for themselves. I read a lot about the people, but not as much about how they survived. Still, very interesting.
First-hand account of pioneers on Floreana in the Galapagos Islands. Sometimes found under the title "Floreana Adventure". Pretty one-sided and with simple narrative. A better book about the topic is "The Galapagos Affair".
Donna Swartz
Fun preparation for a trip to the Galapagos. Margret was certainly intrepid, but her retelling of the adventure is sometimes flat. She was amazing, but in ways other than writing.
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500 Great Books B...: Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos - Margaret Wittmer 1 1 Jul 23, 2014 07:53PM  
Memoirs and Biogr...: Unusual memoir 3 58 May 12, 2014 05:04PM  
Documentary! 2 4 Jan 15, 2013 04:34AM  
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Margret Wittmer, the oldest settler in Galapagos, passed away on March 21, 2000 after spending a full life on the Island of Floreana. She arrived in 1932 from Germany with her husband Heinz, a 12 year old stepson Harry, and two Alsatian dogs Hertha and Lump. She also arrived pregnant and gave birth to her own two children on the island. The Wittmers started out in a pirate cave in the highlands of ...more
More about Margret Wittmer...
Les Robinsons des Galapagos Post aus Floreana: Mein Hotel am Ende der Welt The Floreana Story

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