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South America » Ecuador » Centre » Ambato
February 15th 2009
Published: February 15th 2009
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Our final days on the Galapagos were wonderful, it was hard to leave but both of us were ready for a break from the heat and to get into the mountains and jungle. We did some more snorkeling, which was of course incredible. This time we got to be in the water very close to a bunch of sharks and swim in large schools of golden rays. Two guys out with us had a total freakout since apparantly they had never snorkeled before and couldn´t swim very well. The water was also really rough that day, and they ran into an iguana and then a sea lion and had a giant male meltdown and tried to get up on some rocks and got all cut up. Our guide had to go drag one of them back to the boat. And they were yelling in Korean the whole time. Our big drama of the day.

The marine life here is over the top. It´s not the spectacular colors of Belize, but the sheer size and quantity of all the life in the sea is impressive. We also took a trip up to the highlands of the island to see giant tortoises in the wild, part of the Galapagos National Park. They are huge!! And despite their massive size it´s still easy to miss them in the long grass. There are tons of them, despite the fact that 90% of them have been wiped out thanks to Darwin starting up a community out there that attracted others who really messed things up.

I also got in one last surf session before leaving, it´s going to be a while before I have access to water that warm. Tortuga Bay Beach might be the nicest beach I´ve ever been to. Adios Galapagos!

We had a lovely Valentine´s day, something people take very seriously here. The airline gave all the ladies a white rose and bon bons, and everyone was yelling words of love, often alcohol induced. That´s my first ever rose and chocolates on Valentine´s Day!

The other thing I have to mention is the taxi drivers. They are amazing!! I hate taking cabs in the US, mostly I refuse and wait for the bus. Here, they will give you the names and numbers of thier whole family anywhere you go in case you run into trouble and need help, they know sometimes way more than the tour guides, and I think just live to be helpful. It´s insane. And your bill for driving 15 min is 1.50, go figure. I love taxis in Ecuador.

We somehow ended up in Ambato for a festival that´s not here, but will be off to Baños today. Keeping it rollin.

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