April 17, 2010 - Katherine Joyce
The ninth to the thirteenth of April I spent in the Galapagos!!!!! There was sixty or so exchange students from Guayaquil, Machala, Santa Rosa, Manta and Portoviejo
Day 1: We took a bus from Machala to Guayaquil, and then a quick 1 hr 45 min plane ride . After getting through security we checked in at our hotel and went off on a tour of the Charles Darwin Research center located on the island of Santa Cruz at Puerto Ayora. Next we viewed gigantically slow tortoises, of course seeing Lonesome George the last surviving Pinta giant tortoise and actually in a about 25 days he should become a papa because one of the two tortoises from the neighboring island of Isabela whom he is housed with laid eggs. Also we saw billions of crabs, iguanas and seals. At night we toured Puerto Ayora, watching the animals in the crystal clear water and speacking with natives and others who were working there for the summer vacation. They explained to us that you can only live permanently on the islands if you are married to someone who moved their before the year 1999 or if you are the child of someone who lived there before then.
Day 2: We took a boat ride to the Island Santa Fe where we went swimming and snorkeling, which was truly incredible. I saw a baby shark, rainbow fish, seals and huge schools of silver fish. Then we ran across the steaming hot sun to see the flamingos. Luckily I only got lightly burned that day and just a little sea sick.
Day 3: We went to Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz Island that has thy whitest sand, though I never quite figured out the name because their is absolutely no turtles. Anyway, after lunch we headed to this beautiful, cold, refreshing lagoon where we went snorkeling again.
Day 4: We went bird watching and saw Blue-footed Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Great Frigate Birds, and Great Blue Herons. Next, we went snorkeling and then walked lava pathways through tons of cacti. That night we had a going away party of sorts with karaoke, dancing and card games.
Day 5: We saw the Gemelos, twin volcano craters, and then went back to the airport for the return trip home.