In a last minute flurry of opportunity I took my 13-year old niece to the Galapagos last month. What a joy to be back in the islands unlike any others on the planet, and to see it all unfold in front of new eyes without the burden of expectation.
We took advantage of every opportunity to snorkel, hike, kayak, and land ashore. We took in sunsets over cold drinks (one virgin Piña Colada and a skinny Margarita please) and aboard a Zodiac cruising through twisted waterways of sheltered mangrove forest.
One early morning chilly snorkel paid us back for the commitment of entering the cold ocean with a single playful sea lion that cavorted and dove and somersaulted with us for a solid length of time. And sometimes we saw flocks of penguins “flying” by in the blue sea as we swam along.
Sea turtles on shore and in the water kept us company and hundreds, if not thousands of marine iguanas decorated the shores we explored with our excellent group of informed and informative guides.
I’m grateful for this spontaneous trip to the equator before I journey south to the Antarctic Peninsula next week. The sun and familiar surroundings were as comforting as the luxury of the ship and the special attention of all the crew.