October 2021

While a part of me is always a little sad when I am leaving a destination, my excitement for what has yet to come typically wins in the battle of emotions. Leaving the Galapagos was a bit different, however. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to experience such an amazingly unique place and still have excitement for what is to come, departing from the Galapagos was incredibly difficult. A piece of my heart was left behind.

As I am sure you can tell from the all of the content here, I absolutely love the natural world so it only makes sense for me to fall in love with such a place as the Galapagos. As far as I know, no where else on the planet is so protected which a focus on the wildlife always first. There are limitations on the number of human inhabitants both full-time and visitors at all times. While these restrictions create an environment for a more expensive visit, the cost is well worth it once you see how numerous all the endemic species are.

Upon my arrival, I was expecting to need a tour to another island in order to see some of the archipelago’s most famous inhabitants. This was not the case at all though. A quick walk from the hostel was the main pier for the town of Puerto Ayora and along the pier were always sea lions, marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs and numerous bird species. Darwin’s Finches are also all over town. The highlights did come from the tours I did go on where I enjoyed several snorkeling opportunities and swam with the sea lions, sea turtles, sharks and so much more.

On top of the abundance of creatures to admire and enjoy, the locals on the islands are also incredibly friendly. Spending a month in such a small town really made it feel like I was a part of the community. Employees in a couple of the places I frequented expressed their sadness also when it was time for me to move on. The sense of community is just not seen as much in other locations.

But not to be too sad. As I said, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have enjoyed the experience and luckily my family has expressed interest in visiting as well. It looks like I need to start planning for that trip in a couple of years. As I write this, I am en route to a town called Banos de Agua Santa, known as the entrance to the Amazon for more amazing experiences, though vastly different. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

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