July 13th: We started off our day in front of our hostel getting on our helmets and adjusting our bikes. Then, we rode through the town of Puerto Ayora before starting our ascent up a GIANT hill. We were all sweating like crazy trying to keep up with Paul, our guide. After making it up probably the biggest hill in the world, we took a short break while Paul informed us “it’s mostly downhill from here,” while we all looked at another big uphill. The rest of the ride we kept getting glimpses of the ocean, we stopped at a bus station for a break, and then we continued on to the last stretch. During the last part, we rode next to tortoises, cacti, and we had an amazing view of the ocean. Everybody put their hands up with joy!
Our breath was taken away when we reached the beach. Bright blue waters, pink sand and lots of finches. We all jumped in the water which felt good after our two our bike ride. Paul made us a picnic of sandwiches and then we went back into the water. We threw an apple around, but when it broke we tried body surfing. We didn’t want to leave!
After a long break, we went into town to do a scavenger hunt. Naomi, Danielle, Morgan and I were on a team and we had to find someone who didn’t speak English our Spanish, a volcano, act like sharks, and much more. We beat the other team of Lee, Clint, Sidney and Isabella by a lot so we got ice cream, looked at sea turtles and painted on a mural. After a short break, we ended the day with a nice dinner by the water.
We had another exciting day today! We had a relaxing start and didn’t eat breakfast until 8:15. I was up early and I had a really nice conversation with Isabella. After we had breakfast, we gathered our things, slathered on the sunscreen and headed into town to catch a water taxi to the adjacent part of the island. We reunited with Paul, who appeared carrying an enormous paddle board and sporting an even bigger smile on his face. He was accompanied by his son, Danny. On the water taxi we discussed our favorite words. Some of mine are: tintinnabulation, susurrate, soliloquy. Danielle’s is plethora. Demeaceo has a really cool one but I forget it and I think he does too. After getting off the boat, we walked to a bay and retrieved some kayaks. Danielle and I were kayak partners and quite frankly we were the best duo on the water. We saw sharks and crabs and crabs and more crabs. We kayaked into a cove, disembarked, and got to snorkel around in the ocean a bit. There were some beautiful parrotfish and a choice sea lion, but the highlight of the snorkeling excursion were the sea turtles we encountered, who were peacefully grazing on the rocks. We did a little hike to a viewpoint afterwards, saw some more sharks, and then returned to our kayaks. Danielle and I made the mistake of racing Sid and Isabella to get through the rocky opening. Sid and Bella made it; we crashed full speed into the rocks. This happened twice more due to Danielle and my’s competitive nature! On the way back to the bay, Danielle jumped out of our kayak and swam to the shore. Jeez, I’m pulling all the weight here! We enjoyed some delicious sandwiches on the beach, courtesy of Paul, before heading back to Lava House. We rested and showered before reuniting on the hammocks to play a game called Fantasy. I won’t spoil the game but Morgan and Lee ended up going on a crazy adventure in space! We then ate a delicious dinner prepared by Sidney, Caitlin, Morgan and Lee. It was a salad, some green beans cooked by Lee, and papaya juice by Caitlin. After dinner we played Galapagos themed jeopardy. Our team, which was me Clint, Sidney and Caitlin was definitely winning because Caitlin is a recycling center MASTER. We ended up tying thought because none of us can do math and we didn’t wager enough points on the final question. Afterwards we read our poetry during Booby Babble and went to bed pretty early because we were all exhausted!