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Published: August 5th 2011
I am already back in Quito but since I did not have a chance to update about the Galapagos while I was there I am going go back in time and do so now. First of all, the islands were amazing! I was by far the youngest on the trip. There was only one couple, and the rest were single travelers which was nice for getting to know people. There were two Swiss women and a German woman all in their 30s, a couple from the US in their 30s, two cousins from Australia, a Canadian woman, an Australian woman, and an Australian man all in their 40s. We arrived on San Cristobal Island Sunday July 24th in the afternoon and were met by our guide, Oswaldo. We had enough time to eat lunch and get settled in our hotel before going on a spectacular bike ride, 8 miles all downhill from the highlands to the shore. Along the way we passed abandoned farmlands where fruit trees and crops were going to waste because the owners were too lazy to do the work of picking the fruit and selling it. Instead, they now drive boats or taxis for tourists. But that was good news for us because we got to stop and try some fresh coffee beans, passion fruit, and some delicious oranges. At the bottom of the hill we turned off to go to a beach full of sea lions. They were adorable and hilarious, walking a few steps then plopping back down in the sand to just lie there. We were there in time to watch our first gorgeous Galapagos sunset before heading back to town for dinner.
Our second day on the Island (July 25th) and our first snorkeling day! We took a boat around the island to ´Sea Lion Rock´ where we had out first experience playing with the curious sea lions. They were entirely undisturbed by our presence and would swim right up to our faces before quickly diving away. Another quick boat ride took us to two rocks with a channel in between where we were to see sharks. We only saw one small shark that was way below us but the rocks gained a new name of ´Death Rock´from our group. As we were loading back into the boat the captain didn´t notice that it was moving closer and closer to the rock face. Our guide yelled at everyone to get away from the boat but two others and I didn´t have enough time before the boat almost smashed us into the rock. Luckily those on the boat were fast and managed to pull us enough out of the water to avoid our legs being smashed, but it was definitely a close call. For the rest of the trip this event was burned into everyones brain and I am sure will be the most remembered thing from the trip. On the way back to town we also got to see the famous blue footed boobies and freaka birds in the mating season, so the males all sat in bushes on land with their huge red chests puffed out, waiting for a circling female to chose them. We all got to relax that evening with a delicious seafood dinner and then an early night to bed for a big travel day tomorrow.
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