September 2021

Let’s talk about bucket lists. Mine has always included visiting with Komodo dragons, visiting the Galapagos, kayaking with Orcas in New Zealand and going into the cage with the Great White Sharks in South Africa. I am happy to announce I have now achieved two of these tasks as I arrived here in the Galapagos a couple days ago. I am staying in a little hostel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz which is the most populous town in the archipelago with about 15,000 residents. I will be here for a month and plan to take a couple of day trips (or multi-day trips) to explore some of the more remote areas. Despite being in the center of town, the area is filled with a lot of wildlife. I have already seen a lot of Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions, Black Tip Sharks, Red Rock Crabs and of course many birds. I plan to go to the Charles Darwin Station tomorrow to see the Tortoises and learn more about the unique biology of this place.

During the month of August, I was in Quito. Prior to my arrival, I knew nothing about the city but have learned it is quite a beautiful place. It also holds the distinction as being the second highest elevation of any capital city in the world, coming in around 9,500 feet. This is the highest elevation I ever experienced (besides being in a plane of course) and have also learned that the altitude is a challenge when you are not accustomed to it. Despite drinking a lot of water and not pushing my body too hard, overall I felt very sluggish the entire time I was there and also had problems with my ears not wanting to pop to equalize pressure. I do plan to go to other locations high up in the mountains but will be sure to not spend quite as much time there.

Despite the challenges, I still enjoyed the time in Quito. The people were exceptionally kind and the food is delicious. I have fallen in love with Fritada and Locro de Papa. There is so much history and gorgeous architecture to explore.

Be sure to check back often on the website. I have successfully converted the entire site to a dynamic setup, allowing for easier updates from me as well as a smoother experience for you. It took me nearly two weeks, but I figured out how to make the timeline of updates load in smaller segments for a faster experience. I have also been building out a video gallery and photo gallery and will be building out a system to allow you to navigate through the use of keywords. Please do let me know if there are other features you would like to see or if you run into any issues. Thank you Adventurers!

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