Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Galapagos! Day 5: Adios Amigos

Saturday, July 31, 2010

This morning I went for a nice 45 minute run on the white sandy beaches of Isabela. The sand is deep and caves in under your feet, so it was like running in quicksand. I love running barefoot and this was a nice workout.

Today is our last day as a group with Alberto and Jimbo as our guides. We went to the "Wall of Tears," which was built during the 1940's-1950's when Isabela island was a penal colony. The guards forced the prisoners to build the wall as punishment and many died during the construction. We also went to Cerro Orchilla to see the view, then to a lagoon full of flamingos and a breeding center for giant tortoises (complete with a welcome sign depicting 2 tortoises getting it on).

In the afternoon, we took a boat back to Santa Cruz to visit the Charles Darwin research station. Lonesome George lives there now. He's the last survivor of his species of tortoise, originally from Pinta island. He lives with 2 female tortoises of a closely related species, but hasn't procreated. Poor George and his lady troubles.

Our guide Alberto explained that Ecuador is a third world country but always ranks first in terms of conservation. They are very serious about maintaining ecological balance here and trying to erradicate invasive species.

It was sad to say goodbye to everyone at the end of the night. I've never been on a vacation where I made friends with fellow travelers before, so it was a neat experience. Wherever they go, I hope their futures are filled with many travels and much happiness.

Lyric of the moment: "Well you can cry me a river, cry me a river. I cried a river over you..."

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