Galapagos is a magical place (part 3)

by Kim on September 9, 2012 · 35 comments

Click the links to read part one and part two of our time in the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Islands, Day 6- North Seymour and Bartolomew Islands

Today is my sister’s birthday. I wish I could call her but there isn’t a cell phone tower for miles. This lack of connectivity is one of the many things that I adore about the Galapagos, but right now I’d give a lot to be able to tell my sister that I love her.

I have two sisters and they mean more than anything to me. We were all born in August, two weeks apart, and I take this as some cosmic sign that we are meant to be together here on earth. There have already been dozens of times that I’ve wished my sisters could be with me, experiencing the same amazing things that I am lucky enough to be experiencing. When you love people deeply, even the best thing can be made better when they’re there.

Today we visit Bartolomew Island. Bartolomew is a mountainous and volcanic island. It doesn’t have much wildlife but I absolutely love the terrain. The happiness I feel at being on this island just solidifies the fact that I am a mountain person through and through. If I lived here, on this uninhabited piece of land, I’d hang my hammock towards the mountains, not the sea.

Bartolomew Island

We go snorkeling in the afternoon and see hundreds of starfish. As I swim by a large outcropping of rocks a penguin dives into the water and darts below me. I laugh when I realize that I’ve had so many unbelievable experiences in the Galapagos that swimming with penguins barely registers as amazing. It’s crazy that I’m used to this.

Back on the boat we get incredibly lucky once again. As we sail towards our next destination a large group of dolphins swim up to say hello. Like the whales yesterday, they swim from one side of the boat to the other, jumping in unison, putting on a show for us. We lean over the bow of the ship and watch them, cheering when they leap. Each time they surface they turn to their side in order to look up and see us. They are playful and interested in us and we stand laughing and clapping for them until they eventually swim away.

Dolphins swimming in front of the boat

A dolphin jumps from the water 

Galapagos Island, Day 7- Santiago and Rabida Islands

It’s our last full day in the Galapagos and I don’t want to leave. Today we visit Rabida Island and we are all lighthearted and laughing, taking fun pictures and trying to soak in the remaining hours of our trip.

Jumping in the Galapagos

Having some fun on Rabida Island

I’ve grown to adore these people, though I’ve only known them a week. It’s such a joy to meet people from all over the world and find that you have a thousand things in common.

Galapagos group shot

After dinner we linger, chatting, talking about our home countries and our previous travels. We draw maps of where we are from, share pictures of our pets, and raise our glasses in celebration. We all agree the experience has been amazing.

Celebrating our last night in the Galapagos

Galapagos Islands, Day 8- Santa Cruz Island

We leave today to go back to the mainland but before we do we board a dingy at 6:00 a.m. to float amongst the mangrove trees.

The early morning light is beautiful, it’s such a peaceful time of day. We float between the inlets and sea turtles and small sharks swim below us in the shallow water.

The sun rises on our last morning in the Galapagos

An early morning trip to the mangrove trees

I’m so sad that our trip to the Galapagos is ending. I’ve tried my best, but the pictures and words I’m able to share can’t really capture the magic of the Galapagos. I feel at a loss to describe what a special place this part of the earth truly is. I feel lucky and blessed to have been here.

There is so much to do and discover in the world! I stepped away from my “normal life” on a hunch based on a stirring inside of me that told me I would love to be out here, wandering, exploring the world. I was so right to listen to that internal pull.

I have never been so happy. There is so much life out here! So much beauty and mystery and joy. I am in love with the world. I want to know every inch of it.

I read an African proverb once: When you pray, move your feet. 

When I read the proverb for the first time years ago, I assumed it referred to dancing.

Now that I am out here traveling, I see it’s meaning in a new light. To walk, to roam, to wander- it’s a form of prayer for me. It’s a way to honor life- my own, and all the other amazing lives that I’ve encountered since I’ve begun to move my feet.