Las Islas Galapagos

From June 8, 2008

Where to even begin? These are the most amazing islands with the most amazing animals and landscape and on and on, we could boast about the Galapagos Islands for hours, but let’s just get to the point- what we did while we were there.

We arrived in the Galapagos on the Isla Santa Cruz, the most famous, I would say, and populated of the islands. We had to book it down to Puerto Ayora to make it to the first boat that would take us to Isla Isabella, where we would spend our first few days.

First boat ride, on the way to Isla Isabella

First boat ride (stranger, Jeremy, Tim, stranger) on the way to Isla Isabella

We had a great time in Isabella, here are a few of the things we did:

had fun on the boat (and DID NOT get sick!)

had fun on the boat (and DID NOT get sick!)

Looked all over for a good hostel

Looked all over for a good hostel

The girls looked adorable after swimming with the sea lions

The girls looked adorable after swimming with the sea lions

like this big guy!

like this big guy!

these girls played with their snorkle gear

these girls played with their snorkel gear

and getting tan

and got tan

while Rachel beat the boys in to swim with the sharks!

while Rachel beat the boys into the water to swim with the sharks!

We met marine iguana (only found on the Galapagos Islands)

We met marine iguana (only found on the Galapagos Islands)

here they are, the color of hard lava

here they are, the color of hard lava

we all got the chance to hold a 7 month old GIANT turtle!  (not so giant at 7 months)

we all got the chance to hold a 7 month old GIANT turtle! (not so giant at 7 months)

walked on the beatiful beach (that's the reflection in the sand!)

walked on the beautiful beach (that’s the reflection!)

looked at boobies...

looked at boobies…

Tons more things happened on Isabella, but let’s move on to Santa Cruz.

So, we took the only boat, the 6 am boat, to Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, we were out of motion sickness pills, so we decided to just skip breakfast and suffer through it as quickly as possible, then we would buy more pills on the large island of Santa Cruz. Oh my goodness, were we in trouble!

Without getting into too much detail (and if you’re a sicko and want more details, I’ll be happy to give you every gruesome one as they are etched into my memory forever)… so, without getting into too much detail, one passenger started to get sick on the boat, which sent the whole team in motion.

I believe Jesse was the first to act, he (and Tim who was second) had to look out when in motion, and the boat was totally closed in. No way to see out, no way to get fresh air. They were each over the side, peeking through to stop themselves from throwing up more. Mary was next, and was arguably the most dramatic of the sicko’s, as she threw up her body weight and kept switching back and forth between the two sides, which were occupied by the Baxter boys. Leslie remained the most dry on the boat, shielded by her Otavalo cowboy hat, and kept her eyes shut to focus on other things and not on the motion. Jeremy needed fresh air and continued to lift up the plastic siding to stick his face out, despite being told repeatedly by the driver to put it down, that he was letting in water. Lydia kept her head in Jeremy’s lap with her hands over her ears and her eyes closed so not to hear any of the craziness going on around her. Rachel was arguably in the worst shape of the group. Normally calm and completely composed, she began balling her eyes out. It was torture for her not to have control over the way she was feeling.

As if this doesn’t sound crazy enough, the boat ride, which is normally about 2 to 2 1/2 hours took a whopping 3 1/2 hours because we kept getting stopped by the engine not getting enough gas. There was a leak and the piece that connects the gas tube to the engine wasn’t working properly- this meant the entire boat smelled of gasoline. It was a very small boat and the weight distribution was very important, if one person was on the wrong side, the whole thing would tip over. The worst tip was when we ALMOST capsized! Leslie and Rachel were flung to the opposite side landing in Lydia’s lap. Remember I said Mary was the most dramatic of the sickos? At the time of the near capsize, Mary was over the edge vomiting- the entire top half of her body went into the water, and she was saved only by Jesse, who woke up from his sicko coma for a brief second to grab her leg and save the day… then he went right back into it.

When we FINALLY got to shore, we sat on the ground at the dock (some of us laid there) for about 30 minutes before we could get up and move on to the next part of the day. You see, the plan was to stay there for a few hours, then take ANOTHER BOAT RIDE over to San Cristobal! We needed food, we needed drugs, we needed to feel better before we could even THINK about getting on another one!

After food we did feel better. We split up; Tim, Jeremy and Lydia went to tortuga bay:

Jesse, Mary, Rachel and Leslie went to the Charles Darwin Research Center to see the TURTLES!

Then it was back to the boat. Armed with drugs this time, and on a much nicer boat, we had a great time!

we all had a much better time on this boat!

we all had a much better time on this boat!

Everyone had out their ipods, they were relaxing- you would have thought we were on vacation! (Although, give us a break, this was the “vacation” part of our trip and we still had rehearsal and learned as much as we could about the islands for the play. Leslie even spent time at the computer lab EVERY DAY writing parts of the script.)

So now we had arrived on Isla San Cristobal (where the students will be going duringACTion:Ecuador). This is the oldest of the islands we visited, but it certainly was lively! We had spent the whole day traveling to San Cristobal, so we arrived at dusk- this was the perfect time to first see the sea lions getting ready for bed on the beach!

a SMALL number of sea lions on the beach

a SMALL number of sea lions on the beach

Here are some of the things we did on San Cristobal that the students will be able to do during ACTion: Ecuador:

The Truck Tour begins with great views of the island

The Truck Tour begins with great views of the island

Followed by a hike around this crater lake (the only source of fresh water on any of the islands)

Followed by a hike around this crater lake (the only source of fresh water on any of the islands)

A trip to the islands own turtle breeding facility where you'll see turtles from eggs to giants of about 70 years old

A trip to the islands own turtle breeding facility where you’ll see turtles from eggs to giants of about 70 years old

and finally to a secluded beach

and finally to a secluded beach

The students will also go on a boat tour:

we snorkled with sea lions again

we snorkeled with sea lions again

they were really friendly!

they were really friendly!

and we swam with sharks through this passage of Kicker Rock

and we swam with sharks through this passage of Kicker Rock

and finally to another secluded beach where we sprayed eachother down with bug spray, the horse flies were awful!

and finally to another secluded beach where we sprayed each other down with bug spray, the horse flies were awful!

As if these adventures weren’t enough, we also had rehearsal- because we are serious artists!

Like I said in the beginning, we could go on and on about our time in the Galapagos, and I guess I sort-of did, but we really had an amazing time, as it is an amazing place, and we are happy to give you any tips if you’re planning a trip there yourself, just let us know :)

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