Waking up at five o’clock in the morning may not seem like the best thing in the world for most people, but when you’re in the Galapagos, an early wake up makes a great day.
Being exhausted from the long day before, I woke up and hobbled onto the bus only to fall straight back to sleep. I woke up about an hour later only to see that we were by a dock while our local guide Luis was telling us we were going to board a boat to go to the island of Bartolomé where we would climb an inactive volcano and snorkel in some of the best water in the Galapagos. A water taxi pulled up to the dock and brought us over to the boat where a whole new leg of our journey began.
The boat ride to the island was one of the most relaxing part of our day. They had a kitchen on the boat where they cooked up an amazing breakfast which like usual, was made using food from local farms since it is quite hard to import items into the Galapagos from mainland Ecuador. As we were sailing our way to the island and relaxing on the top deck of the boat, a Frigate bird landed on top of a sonar plate while a group of three Tiger sharks swam under our boat! As we approached Bartolomé, everyone’s eyes opened with amazement at the rocky landscape that was appearing in the distance.
Just a couple of minutes later we were docked at the island and hiking up the volcano making many stops along the way so Luis could talk about how the island was formed and what caused all of the different intrusions in the rocks. We learned about the different kinds of lava like a’a and pahoehoe lava. All around us we have been seeing barren rock and then just as we summit the peak of the volcano, there is a little tropical paradise which appeared out of no where.
We climbed down the volcano in awe at the amazing beauty of nature. We reached the dock only to find two sea lions, or lobos marinos as they are called in the Galapagos, blocking our way to the boat. Our fearless guide Luis grabbed his water bottle and quickly chased them back into the water. We got back onto the boat and gathered our snorkeling gear to see some of the most amazing wildlife in the world.
I fell back into the water and a sense of exuberance overcame me as I started seeing all the fish in the water. There were hundreds of giant sea stars on the ocean floor and incredible schools of fish kept on passing by us like people on a busy New York street. About half an hour into the excursion, we saw one of three white tip sharks, eagle rays, an octopus and a penguin. We all helped each other to find new animals living under the sea.
That day was one of the most amazing days of my life and I have learned so much about the Galapagos and sustainability throughout the program. Our group grew so much together throughout the program from a bunch of people who have never met to one of the closest groups of friends over a period of just 10 days. This program has inspired me to truly take action in my community and try to make the world a better place for future generations.