How do I start this one… there’s so much that I squished into the week that I went to the Galapagos. For starters, it was really cool to be with a group of students who organized this themselves. We discussed, got an agency, paid, and did it. At the airport I didn’t know everybody in the group, but it was really easy to get to know people with activities like a 16 km hike to a volcano, downtime at the airport, and hanging out at night when there were no scheduled excursions.
2 islands. 8 days. 1 book bag. several new friends.
The climate and terrain variation on these islands was astounding. desert type place to beach to rainforest all in a day and all on one island.
We visited a place where they display animals, especially turtles and put it in the perspective of Darwin’s studies. Lonely George, turns out wasn’t that lonely, because he had two females with him. But they were of a different species and therefore when George died, the species ended.
We went to the beach. I swam in the Galapagos, and the water was gentle and warm. it was so peaceful. On the day before we left we had no schedule to which we had to adhere, and so a lot of us went to the beach. I spent all day there, feeling peaceful and rested. I played in the sand like a little kid. When I was little, my uncle used to make sand castles that looked really drippy, and I tried to do that too.
hike to a mountain.
6 mile bike ride.
I was so nervous when it was time to go snorkeling, because … having a breathing thing in your mouth is weird and took a bit to get used to. I feel that trips that I take shouldn’t just be fun, but I want them to push my limits. This trip was unforgettable because I learned that I can do so much more than I thought. I can snorkel with giant tortoises and fishes and sea lions, I can hike ridiculous amounts on uneven terrain, and I can sing alone in front of people.
Anecdote: on the return portion of our hike I overheated and my head felt so pressurized (similar to when you’re descending in an airplane). So I sat down, and someone poured a huge bottle of water on me to cool me off. I was unexpectedly grateful for the surprise shower. I liked knowing that I had friends on this trip that would look out for me, and I would look out for them. I like being reassured that people are good and willing to lend a hand.
On this hike I walked in silence the same amount as I conversed. Both felt natural and welcomed. It’s cool to observe group dynamics and social norms/trends on these sorts of adventures.
At one point, our group passed by a sea lion one a dock who had had its back fins chopped off. The guide said that by the looks of the cuts it looked man-done. I was one of the last people off the boat, and while I waited for my friend to finish with the bathroom, I sat beside the sea lion. We sat there together for a good amount of time, and I felt horrible because there was nothing I could give it except my presence, and a song. So that’s what I did. I sang the injured creature a soothing song and when I finished we just sat there together in silence. My friend came out and we had to leave. When the group came back to the boat across the same dock, the animal was gone. I don’t know what happened to it. I remember its eyes and how helpless it looked, and I’m saddened, to say the least.
Although this trip was physically demanding ( I feel so healthy now) and had unfortunate parts (the sea lion, and people getting sick) it was an amazingly phenomenal trip that I am glad I did not miss out on. I learned a lot about myself, and about the islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela, as well as about my companions.
2 thumbs up.