Trip of a Lifetime – Week Two

Last week we heard about Natalia’s first week and the project work her group carried out for the Porto Rica community in Ecuador.  This week the group have some time off and visit The Galapagos Islands.

Week Two – Galapagos Islands

I had mixed feelings about leaving Camp Costa however knowing that we were soon to be on our travels to the Galapagos Islands helped!  After a short flight we landed on San Cristobal to the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen, our hostel was on the seafront and there was so much wildlife surrounding it with seals, blue footed boobies, crabs and many others, and that was just on one beach!  We walked around the town and I was in absolute awe, wherever we looked, it was gorgeous!

On our first full morning on the island we went to Eolico Park and climbed a lot of steps to see the crater of the volcano. Afterwards we went to a giant tortoise breeding sanctuary; it was incredible to see them up close! In the afternoon we practiced snorkelling ready for deep water snorkelling the next day.

I was really apprehensive about snorkelling in the deep sea, but it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life and definitely one of the highlights of my trip. We had a two-hour boat ride to Kicker Rock and after getting used to the freezing water we swam all around the rock and saw so much wildlife! Sea lions, hammerhead sharks, whitetip sharks, Galapagos sharks, giant turtles and many different types of fish, I cannot forget the sights I saw whilst snorkelling here!

Whilst on the Galapagos we didn’t do any project work, instead we took the role of the tourist, and visited sites such as the interpretation centre which was all about Charles Darwin and his discovery of the island, and it was really interesting!

After spending time on San Cristobal we travelled by boat to Santa Cruz, one of the other islands, where we went to Tortuga Bay where they filmed parts of Pirates of the Caribbean.  The bay had white sand, clear water and palm trees – it was paradise!

That was our last day in the Galapagos, we travelled back to Quito and then on to Otavalo. On the way we stopped at the museum de sitio intinan which has the equator running through it, it was really interesting to learn about the centrifugal forces on either side of the equator.  If you tightrope on the equator you can feel the different forces on each side pulling you, it is such an odd sensation! When we finally reached Otavalo we went to the market, one of the biggest craft markets in South Amercia.

Next week, Natalia and her group travel to their next camp in the Andes, where project work begins again!