Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Galapagos! Day 3: "No worries, it is nature"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Today was one of my favorite days of the whole trip. I ran for 45 minutes in the Floreana highlands, half of which was straight uphill. I've gotten so used to running in urban environments, so it's been nice to run on the trails here. It's so peaceful and the views are gorgeous. And seriously, when else will I have the opportunity to run past sea lions and volcanoes and cacti?

There are only about 120 people living on Floreana and they don't have electricity from midnight until about 6:00am (so that's why they suggested we bring a flashlight with us).

After a delicious breakfast, we went hiking in the highlands and saw giant tortoises and the pirate caves (Arrrgh!). Then we took a boat to Isabela island, where we saw iguanas and a sea lion nursery. We were watching baby black marine iguanas laying on the lava rocks and soaking up the sun's heat, when a heron flew by and looked like it was going to eat one of the iguanas. To which our tour guide Alberto replied "No worries, it is nature." Thankfully, the heron flew away and we didn't have to witness any nature vs. nature moments.

Later we went snorkeling. Today was warmer, but even with the wetsuits they gave us, I was still freezing. Still, it was totally worth it because I got to snorkel with white tipped reef sharks and sea lions. The sea lions are so playful and they will swim up right next to you. It was my first time snorkeling so I was worried I would have trouble with it, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. And when we got back to the Red Mangrove hotel on Isabela, Emelyn was there. Yay!

Read in a book: "For so long I had wanted this, and now that it was here, I didn't know what to make of it. I'd expected that I would expand to fit the experience automatically, that I would get my first glimpse of the person I was destined to be." I can't explain it, but the right words have a way of finding me at exactly the right time. I read this in one of the books I bought for vacation and it describes perfectly the feeling I have whenever I go somewhere or try something new. There are certain experiences that I know are going to change me, but I still expect it to happen instantaneously, even though I know that growth takes a little time and can often be uncomfortable at first. When I first get into an unfamiliar situation, my brain starts freaking out, listing all the reasons it will be hard or scary or lead to failure, but I've found that I just have to relax and jump in anyway.

Lyric of the moment: "And I don't know how, to slow it down. My mind's racing from chasing pirates..."

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