Being our second to last day on the island of Santa Cruz, we have all settled in to the endless stream of activities we have here.
After the surfing day, we went to Las Grietas, which is a giant fissure in the lava rock, to swim and snorkel. It is on “the other side,” so we walked and water taxied over. We rose bright and early to beat the crowds – but it was well worth it. We had the entire fissure to ourselves and dove through underwater tunnels, saw huge fish, and just played around. The water was bright teal and it was an amazing sight.
Later that day, we returned to “the other side” to kayak and search for rays and sea turtles. We went all around the coast, and at one point a sea lion came to play with us. We went to another fissure in the kayaks and got out for a quick hike to view a shark resting spot – there were at least fifty white tipped reef sharks in one tiny pool.
Some of us also snorkeled to look for sea turtles – one group was able to swim beside one. All in all, we had a jam packed day and we all returned to the hostel happy, but exhausted from our adventures.
The next day, we toured different neighborhoods and places on the island and visited a recycling and composting center, a desalination center, and a landfill. Although it may not sound as exciting as our previous adventures, we were able to learn a lot about how the people and government of the Galapagos sustain the fragile ecosystems on the island now that there is a human population here.
After our excursions, we came back to the hostel for a debate/meeting/argument in which we adopted roles of different residents of the Galapagos to discuss possible solutions for the various problems that the people and environment here face.
Today, we went to a reforestation greenhouse and helped pack soil for the seedlings they raise and prune baby scalasia trees. We also were able to hear from one of the workers at the greenhouse about what their mission is and how they accomplish it. Afterwards, we came back for a rest and then embarked on a scavenger hunt around the town of Puerto Ayora.
All of us are definitely savoring these last few days we have on the island with each other and are excited to start our next adventure here.