Seeing the world, one country at the time

Goodbye to Galapagos

Galapagos Day 8

Last Day on Puerto Ayora
Our last day on Puerto Ayora would be spent on the beach. We got up early and headed out to Tortuga Bay, stopping on the way for food. It was hot and there had been a power outage. We bought sandwiches and walked toward the market, but the heat and hunger tired us out and put us in a bad mood. It probably didn’t help to know this was our last day here. After finding the market we hit the trail. When we got to beach we threw off shoes to feel the cool, powdery sand between our toes. There were lots of marine iguanas running along the sand and swimming in the surf. We walked to the “playa mansa”, or safe swimming beach and found ourselves alone.

We hung out and ate surrounded by several birds, which wanted our food. There was a definite pecking order, as the smaller birds were chased off by ever-larger sea birds, which stalked us. It’s funny how connected you feel to animals in Galapagos. It feels as though you understand them and can read their thoughts and behavior. Nowhere else do you get such an up-close view of them in their natural habitat. After lunch we swam and took photos before going on a wildlife walk around the bay where we saw dozens of large iguanas sunning themselves and dozing on the rocks. They were so relaxed they made us laugh with their funny lazy postures.

Back on the beach others joined us. We watched a couple of guys showing off for two girls, splashing their muscular arms with water, but not daring to talk to them. A little farther off a dad and his daughter played on shore. She crawled along in the water as he stood nearby talking to her while incessantly getting bitten by nasty sand flies, which only attack where you’re wet. They are ruthless and their bites are painful! This went on for a good hour. He got our vote for “Dad of the year”. We finally pulled ourselves away and walked back slowly through the water. The water was beautiful and felt SO good and cool around our ankles. We returned to our favorite restaurant alley for dinner, this time choosing William’s shack. I ordered my favorite coconut shrimp again, this time for the last time. Afterwards we headed to Bongo’s bar for a drink because it always looks so inviting, with candlelight and open-air balconies. We played backgammon, drank expensive cocktails and made the most of our last night.

Leaving Galapagos for Guayaquil
Our last morning was spent packing and eating a hearty breakfast at the next-door bakery. At the airport we met our Tip Top friends and our reunion must have appeared like we hadn’t seen each other in months, with loud hellos, big grins and long hugs. While we waited in line to check in, we gave Karen and Will advice on whether to stay an extra day or not. Our take was “of course! We would if we could.” So they did. We were so surprised at how unorganized the staff at the airport was when people were so efficient at everything else on the island, including arrivals. Once checked in, we sat and chatted with Roger, Jenny, Barbara and Rick. Barb had missed us and was very upset with the new boat people who were BORED and sour and complained a lot. “How can you get bored in Galapagos? It’s impossible!” She is so funny. It was nice to hear her complain and made us feel better about having been booted from the boat. We really liked the whole crew. When we disembarked at Guayaquil, nobody could believe it. They thought we were continuing to Quito. We wished we could have joined them all the way to Quito. If we had, our trip would have ended up very differently. It would have made our lives so much easier. We thought that going to Helene’s to repack, relax and do email was a good idea at the time. Looking back, we would have spent twenty dollars extra to go directly to Quito, but hindsight is, you know it, 20/20.