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An ode to Galapagos Islands

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Sea lion swimming Punta Espinosa Galapagos

An ode to Galapagos Islands

Andean Trails’ Maria has just returned from an inspiring Galapagos Islands trip that made her pulse race like nowhere before.

 

She writes:

“I wear a smile that will last forever.

I was in the middle of the Pacific surrounded by volcanic islands full of exotic animals, with deep seas that house this immensity.

On the Galapagos Islands, I felt so small and so big at the same time. Small while navigating through the vast Pacific Ocean; big, having flown and been where only very few have.

 

Different world

Upon landing on the island of San Cristobal, I was wrapped up by the humidity, the heat and the collective excitement.

I found myself in a completely different place. In Puerto Ayora, wildlife and people mingle and coexist.

Sea lions lay down on the boardwalk benches and while blue footed bobbies, pelicans and frigate birds fly the skies.

I boarded the Eric boat, the crew waiting at the bow.

I embarked on a week of living around these islands, where everywhere demanded attention, where nothing offered escape.

 

Sea Horse Tangus Cove Galapagos

Sea horse, Tagus Cove, Galapagos

 

It was my first experience on a boat trip. I was afraid of having seasickness and of not being able to enjoy Galapagos.

But the truth was that the transit waters from island to island were very calm.

Aboard with my companions, we had common areas where we got together and shared impressions of the day. Or sought out hidden areas where we could lie back, relax and read, or simply smile and contemplate a sunset, a flying bird or the wild islands passing by.

We visited 12 places, either a short walk, a snorkel or kayak in clear waters.

 

On land

By foot, we found marine iguanas and land iguanas and sea lions lying on the sand.

There were giant turtles, frigates with red chests bunched out to attract females.

Then came blue-footed boobies and red-footed boobies, owls and cormorants diving into the water.

 

Short eared owl Galapagos

Short eared owl, Galapagos

 

High seas

The water. Here, we dove with colourful fish, seahorses and sea turtles.

With rays, sea lions and submerged marine iguanas tearing moss from submerged rocks.

With penguins that looked like torpedoes, white tip sharks, and a Galapagos shark that approached me near the coast and made my heart beat as fast as ever, on these pulsating, living Galapagos Islands.

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