July 15, 2019
It’s hard to believe that it is day four of our journey across Ecuador and the Galapagos. We started with a late night arrival at the airport followed by introductions and laughs. It is unbelievable how quickly this group has come together, and Gray and I could not be more proud.
Kenan got to work quickly by introducing himself and others while knowing everyone’s names before we even got to the airport. He even came up with a nickname for everyone in our group. We were greeted by pizza once we arrived to our hotel. From the outside, it would be hard to guess that our group had just met each other. We went into our first moonup of the trip where we selected Louisa and Will as our first LOD’s due to their positive attitude and willingness to help others.
The next morning, we were surprised as to how everyone got out of bed quickly and motivated for the day. On our way to the airport, we shared riddles to pass the time. Lizzie quickly made friends with a group of Ecuadorian kids on a field trip to the Galapagos.
This excitement carried us to Santa Cruz where we were immediately greeted by giant tortoises. Everyone was mesmerized by the sheer size and slow-moving nature of the tortoises. We had an opportunity to climb inside of empty tortoise shells, and Claire did not spare a moment. She climbed in with ease for the perfect photo. After familiarizing ourselves with the local reptiles, we proceeded to check out the strip of Santa Cruz. James and Mason both wasted no time at all in procuring bucket hats. With sun safety as important as it is, and with the added benefit of bucket hats always being in style, it didn’t seem possible to NOT at least get a couple. For dinner, traditional rice, beans, and chicken was the order for most. We really and truly thought the group was exhausted afterwards and ready for bed, but the truth was a stark contrast. Who would have guessed, on our way home, we would just so happen to walk by a giant live music festival on the street???
Thomas and Callie stole our attention and ultimately that of the camera man with their unique dance moves, which were captured by a large screen off the stage. We made fools of ourselves as we danced through the night. A personal favorite of the group was the two step. Kenan along with the help of Sloan led the group on stage where we danced with the band. Luckily, Gray captured the event on the Go-Pro. We then danced our way back to the hotel for some unbelievable and indescribably Well. Deserved. Rest.
To start our first morning in Santa Cruz, we had a five-star breakfast of eggs, toast, and fresh fruit! This well-fueled group of adventurers headed into a brackish cave to see a beautiful array of fish and rock formations. Next up came another beach visit, accompanied by chicken fights and plenty of dope beats from our small, yet dependable Bluetooth speaker. Before we knew it, we were hopping onto a ferry to set off for our next island. It was so important that we stock up on snacks before our sea voyage, and none were happier than Kate when we put back all of the cookies and wafers in sight. The trip was bumpy and sunny, but everyone had an absolute blast. We arrived to our new home, unpacked our bags, and set off immediately for the closest beach in sight. With smoothies on our mind, we headed straight for the food booth and tried out every flavor in sight. They were all mighty fine, but none rivaled the taste of Bradlee’s strawberry smoothie. We bathed in the sun and sipped on our drinks, with surfers in the background and sea lions everywhere, things seemed to be the best they’ve ever been. Cameron started a game of beach soccer, and we all joined in. However, the sunset got that much better when Jackson and Gray went swimming in the ocean with the spectacular view behind them. It was a sight to see!
We cannot think of a better way to end our first day in San Cristobal than watching the sunset together as a group, and we cannot wait to see what our remaining time in the Galapagos has in store for us!
Gray and Mary Ellen
July 12, 2019
Hello Ecuador + Galapagos Families!
We received word from our Trip Leaders that the group has arrived safely in the Galapagos! Their trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventures.