Galapagos Update: First Days in Galapagos

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We arrived in the Galapagos! Well, technically it’s our second time arriving because it took the pilot two tries to land. After we walked off the plane and on to the runway, we got on a bus, a boat, and another bus before finally arriving in Puerto Ayora — our home for the rest of the trip. The drive here was incredible. We started out net to the bright blue waters and warm air of the coast, ascended in to a foggy Jurassic Park looking place, and came back down into the city. After lunch, we settled into our hostal, The Lava House, which has tons of hammocks and bright colored walls. Then, we walked to a colorful local park and di an activity called “Big Booty” – except we renamed it to “Big Booby” after the blue footed boobies. Afterwards, we walked to a local market and picked out food to make pasta for dinner. We then came back to the hostal and four of us started preparing dinner. We boiled the pasta, peeled tomatoes for red sauce, sautéed veggies and shredded cheese. After it was all done, we sat down at the big table together and talked about movies and conspiracy theories. When the dishes were done we made a circle in the lawn for our evening chat – called the “booby babble”. We talked about what we thought of Galapagos and what more we wanted to learn in the next couple weeks. Allie told us the plan for tomorrow, which was my least favorite part so far because she informed us we’d be waking up at 5:40am! We put back the chairs and we stayed up talking in the hammocks for hours before bed (except for there was a slight problem when Clint’s hammock fell down!).

The next morning I found out that Allie was not lying about waking up before 6am, but it was well worth it! We walked down to the coast and got on a yellow water taxi that took us to a part of the island not accessible by car. After a walk through mangroves and beaches with our awesome British guide, Paul, we descended down stairs into a place that looked straight out of National Geographic. A giant crack made out of red rocks held crystal clear blue water. Paul handed us our snorkels and we jumped off the dock into the water. Putting on our snorkels revealed giant fish and huge boulders. We swam farther into the crack, then got out and followed Paul over some rocks into a new pool where we discovered even more fish of all sizes. Swimming through an underwater tunnel revealed another area to explore. When we made our way out of the water, we needed to hustle back for a breakfast of fruit, bread, scrambled eggs and passion fruit juice. Yum!
After a quick break, we headed off to the Charles Darwin Research Center, where we saw our first marine iguanas and tortoises (Demaceo was star struck by the iguanas!). Paul walked us through the center and told us about the many conservation efforts on the islands. Afterwards, Paul rushed off to see the world cup semifinal and we headed to lunch to do the same! Currently we’re watching the end of the Croatia and England game with the owners of the hostel and their family. I’m practicing my Spanish with one of the kids, and Naomi found someone to practice French with. Soon, we’ll be headed to the island’s recycling plant and eating dinner at another local market. Looking back on . this, I’ve wrote a lot! I can’t believe we’ve only been here for 24 hours! Gotta get back to the game, adios! Hasta pronto!
-Caitlin

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