Galapagos Tortoises – Crossroads of Conservation Group Journal Entry

Today we woke up at 7 am to have breakfast, which was great. Simple bananas, peanut butter, bread with cheese, and coffee. Even black, Galapagos coffee is more than amazing.

After breakfast we got changed into our bathing suits and headed to see tortoises and snorkel. The tortoises ranged from more than a meter and a half to a few inches in length. It was amazing to notice how their bodies evolved to allow them to eat and reach their necks up. Natural selection is an extraordinary thing to learn about. The fact that people here are so dedicated to the wildlife is a beautiful thing. They spend anywhere from $1000-5000 on each tortoise and at the place we went to there we 1,200.

Once our minds were blown from that experience, we made our way to the snorkeling spot. As always there was an abundance of species we Americans haven’t been introduced to. We saw sea stars, pacific octopuses (not octopi), rays, marine iguanas, and crabs, as well as the gorgeous fish.

As if the day hadn’t already been awesomely packed, we took a drive to the highlands for some tortoise encounters at a local farm. We also finally had time to try more of the fantastic Galapagos coffee. On our way, Luis, our wonderful guide, taught us about the wildlife around us. One of the coolest things we learned was that the people of Galapagos do not bury their past-away loved ones; they simply lay the coffin on top of the ground. This is because they would need dynamite to make even a dent in the ground due to the many layers of magma that have dried underground. We even got to go through a lava tube. It was super dark, but it was cool to know that the 28 lava tubes around the island support the whole ground. After our hike we got some more of the great Galapagos coffee and some empanadas. Lastly, we traveled 30 minutes back into town to go to a coffee farm. Galapagos Coffee!!