In blue

When in Galápagos, you find there are plenty of “free shows” to see.

One of them is performed by the blue footed boobies. These birds are all around the islands. The Blue-foot dives into the ocean and swims underwater in pursuit of its prey.  Blue boobies travel in parties of about 12 to areas of water with large schools of small fish. When the lead bird sees a fish in the water, it will signal the rest of the group and they will all dive together in unison and go to depths of 80 ft.And then, the show starts again.

Biodiversity

You know your own language, maybe you are fluent in others. You know the words, their meaning. You speak, you read, you write. There are words that you use every day. There are words that you only find in poetry. There are technical words, those you recognize as belonging to a certain field of expertise but you cannot explain. There are words you love. There are words you hate. There are words you discover while doing a crossword. There are words that you haven`t “experienced” but when you do,  they get a completely new dimension in your life.

The word “biodiversity” was the one that I got the chance to experience while in Galápagos.  And now is one of those words I love. Because love is what you feel when you experience “biodiversity”. You are no longer a human being, but another creature living together with the different types of creatures that inhabit the islands. It`s a friendly atmosphere. You are not afraid. You respect and you are respected. You live and let live.

You love and you feel loved.

All the pictures I took, I did with great care. Sometimes, I simply didn`t take a picture. I just stood and observed and stayed still not to scare an animal, no to disturb them. Those pictures I can not show you. I have them in my heart.

And here are some pictures of the first friends I met the day I arrived.

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Nightmare

6:00 AM Alarm Clock
ah … a whole new day

6:10 AM Breakfast
love the smell of fresh coffee

6:30 AM Shower
love the smell of flowers coming through the window

6:45 AM 2nd coffee
the second one is even better

7:00 AM Nightmare
Mmm … something smells bad … Oh no!!!! I`m smelling Monday!!!

7:00 AM till now: denial “cannot be true, it`s a bad dream, cannot be true”

Now: acceptance “It`s Monday”

 

Islands

I see the islands from the plane and I have the same impression I had when in Easter Islands:  “where did I have my head when I decided to come?”. Nothing idylic about the islands,  black volcanic rocks, tangle of vegetation, a small town. It looks so uninviting … but then I remember that once in the islands, that first impression proved to be totally wrong and magic followed.

It was like this in Galàpagos. Magic followed.

From the airport to the pier and then waiting time. The group gathered together. The boat was on its way.

A group of strangers at this point that in no time became a group of friends.

And the first islander that came by to say HI, the first one I portrayed.

Moments later, we hopped on the boat. The Floreana was waiting for us. The adventure started.

Day one: missions, downpour, happiness

My first day in Quito and I have two missions: solve the problems related to the hard work of being an Argentine (new financial laws that left me “penniless”  abroad) and find out how to get to Galápagos, my childhood dream.

Needless to say that my second mission excited me more than my first one but the first one affected the second one. Then, as the saying goes “the last will be the first”, the last one was first and I thanked the wisdom of the popular sayings, so wise and so true.

My two missions took me the whole morning and part of the afternoon and by the time I was able to have lunch, the sky cracked open and I could experience the Ecuadorian winter which is also known as the rainy season.

And it rained till the end of the day so I got to know all the eventual shelters of the neighborhood where I was staying in.

The rain didn`t erase the big smile I had on my face though. The following day, I was going to Galápagos!

Absentminded

When you travel, there is always a dominant element, something that characterize the trip. Sometimes it`s about repeating numbers (I was in room 8, got seat 8, cost $8), sometimes about nationalities (everywhere I went, I run into  a Uruguayan), or a type of food (everywhere I went, I was offered fruits). This element not necessarily defines the trip but it stands out to the point that you remember it as part of the trip.

The dominant element this time was me being totally absent-minded. I was so in my own world that now that I`m back home I wonder how I could find my way back and return home safe and sound. I lost my luggage, I missed a plane, I forgot my camera on a table, my iPod on a bench and the list is long.

I don´t know if absent or focused or abstracted or distracted or if it was that I simply didn`t want to worry about any single thing, I didn´t want to be alert all the time. I guess I just had energy enough to simply “be” and relax in the place where I was at a given moment.
And it was ok. I was on holidays after all. No place for worries.

Where are you going on vacation?

The million dollar question has always been “where to”. Everybody wants to know “where to”. Believe me, I`m not the exception. But I never find the answer, rather it finds me. My mind goes around the globe. My wallet around reality. Somewhere in the middle, I go on vacation.

And this time, it was exactly in the middle. I went to the middle of the world. Ended up in Ecuador.

Here is where the story begins. Hope you enjoy it!