On our first night on Santa Cruz, as we often tend to do while traveling, on our way back from Charles Darwin research centre, we asked each other If we could have lived in such a place. We both agreed that no, as much as the Galapagos are doubtlessly one of the most enchanting places on earth, there was no way that, at this stage of our lives, we could give up the big city life’s benefits. Well, one week after, while sailing back from San Cristobal to the surreal light blue waters of Puerto Ayora’s harbour, convoyed by a pod of pelicans, I knew inside of me that something has changed.
After swiftly checking in at Morning Glory, easily our best accommodation throughout our Galapagos stay, we took a cab to get to El Chato 2, a giant tortoises reserve with a series of gloomy lava tunnels. Contrary to what we witnessed in other research centres, here the animals were unrestrained and allowed to do whatever they felt like doing, whether it was roaming around, eating, or mating. The latter, consisting of a sexual intercourse that easily lasts more than one hour, was kind of the most sought-after activity. Call them stupid! It really didn’t take long for us to find out what those rhythmic primordial loud groans were…
We still had the whole afternoon ahead of us. Not a cloud in the blue sky, bugs buzzing around huge scented tropical flowers, our tummies full and our bodies refreshed by one of our South American favourite drinks, jugo de caña (sugar cane juice). Since our first attempt at Tortuga Bay proved not to be so lucky, we decided to give it another go. It turned out to be the best decision ever since, once we made it there, we realised the sun made everything glow in a heavenly way. And again, we were the only humans around. While Isa was sunbathing ashore, rhythmically embraced by the gentle warm water, I recall airily running on the beach towards the sea and diving in it with the awareness of how blessed we were to be there in that specific moment. It made me feel so grateful to be alive.
We spent hours pretty much just enjoying those moments, which surely we will cherish for the rest of our lives. When we eventually left, right after sunset, we knew inside that we could have not hoped for a better stay on the Galapagos.
We celebrated our last night in one of the few bustling roads of Puerto Ayora with a fish based dinner based on a pescado casseruole and breaded shrimps and gigantic exotic fruit shakes (tomate de arbol and guanabana).
The following morning was left for the last stroll around the welcoming and out of time streets of the town we had loved so much. I took a few pictures that were aimed at capturing its carefree, pastel hued essence, but I really felt like that magic was impossible to capture.
On our way to Baltra island, after quickly stopping by Los Gemelos, two collapsed volcanos in the middle of the forest, we could marvel for the last time at the intense dreamlike turquoise colour of the ocean.
Right before boarding the plane we both looked one last time around to then meet each others eyes: doubtlessly this was the highlight of the whole South American journey, no need to say it loud. We both smiled and walked in.
Olympus OM-1, Ilford 100 (35)
Canon EOS 300, Fuji Pro 200 (35)
21-22/02/2017, Santa Cruz (Galapagos islands, Ecuador)