On the ground it was foggy, but in the sky it was clear. The flight today was early, but refreshing, with a few mix ups throughout. After a late wake up call gone rogue, we soon discovered if the galapagroup can handle a quick change, we can handle anything. Just three days in, and we already have an extensive photo library of people sleeping in strange places. As Kyra says "3 hours of sleep in 3 days". We boarded the plane relatively easy this time through and because we're courageous, we tried the interesting in flight snacks. We even got to walk off of the plane by stairs, just like in the movies! We landed in Baltra and continued on to Santa Cruz. The entire Galapagroup had high spirits during every step of the journey to the Galapagos, and the wait was well worth it!
The first adventure once in Santa Cruz was lunch in the highlands. Our first meal in the Galapagos did not disappoint. We ate plantain, chicken, rice, vegetables and more, flavored with a local sauce. We also experienced the delicious local fruit juice for the first time! It now seems that each meal will involve juice and a debate about the juices' ranking. During lunch we overlooked giant tortoises and some of Darwin's finches. We then got to go on a walking tour throughout the tortoises' habitat! Our local tour guides taught us about the conservation efforts to support various giant tortoise species throughout the Galápagos Islands. We also learned about the tortoises mating an reproductive behaviors and evolutionary adaptations.
After the tour we headed to the port to load up in our boat that would transport us to our next stop, Isabella Island. Spirits were exemplified high during boarding as we waited in line beside sea lions and marine iguanas. We boarded our ship and set sail! For the first 30 minutes of the two hour boat ride, a ridiculously large smile was smeared across the Galapagroups' faces. After that, the waves started to kick in. The unique intersecting currents around the Galápagos Islands are a large factor in the local biodiversity and evolutionary history. However, after a half hour on this boat, we were not too pleased with the Galapagos' waters. Although Tanya claimed that we have 'stomachs of steal', the boat ride ended with 3 members of the Galapagroup getting sick - one student and two chaperones. Who would have guessed?
By the time we arrived in Isabela, it was time for a few selfies with sea lions, boobies, iguanas, and crabs, and then back to the hotel. We checked in and went to dinner just down the street from our hotel. Dinner was a joyous event with delicious juice, soup, and more food! We all enjoyed being 100% unplugged to the internet and our phones and just talking and getting to know each other. Already the Galapagroup has shared an experience that will bond them forever, and this is just the beginning! After dinner we headed home for some journal time and reflection. During this time, we quickly came to realize that no picture or story about the Galapagos could ever do justice to this majestic wonder. When asked what one word we could use to describe the Galapagos so far we would have to say, surreal, HECK-YEAH, tortoises, refreshing, intense, enchanting and endemic.
Authors: Ms. Schuld's Squad (Jonathan, Rohit, Kirstin, Kyra, Abigail, Michelle & Gabriela C.)
We are sorry for the delay in posts, we have just gotten reliable internet. We have enjoyed our time being unplugged :)
View more pictures from Day 3 HERE.