My Galapagos Adventure - My Family Travels

Every January my school has a two week intersession class. Everyone picks one class or commits to a school trip, usually done through a travel agency and set up by a teacher or two. At the beginning of my junior year at High Tech High I decided that I was going to set up my own independent intersession and travel somewhere with my family. Of course it had to be educational in some way or the school would not count it as a credit. I approached the director of the school with my idea and he agreed. I committed to the set up and planned every aspect of the trip, carried out the plan and documented it in a  Photo Journal.

I had always wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands and while we studied evolution and Darwin in Bio I spent my free time from September to January researching and planning our trip to the Galapagos.

We spent Christmas in Panama with my grandparents before heading to Ecuador. While in Panama we took my uncle’s pick up truck and drove it from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean on a dirt road through the jungle. We spent the morning getting to the beach, midday at the water and in the surrounding jungle. My brother climbed a few palm trees and we opened some coconuts while swatting starved bugs.  The water had giant multicolor star fish and the jungle was a scene from the Jurassic period, with huge hundred year old mango trees, strange fat palms and sweet humid air. It took us the remainder of the day to return to the city.  

We left Panama on New Years Eve and left the Ecuadoran airport as it neared midnight. The new year festivities were in full swing, the where people in the streets burning piles of life size, homemade dolls that symbolize the old year. Fireworks were going off like bombs, lighting the city in irregular places and times rendering the atmosphere, in my opinion, war-like.

There is no way that I could summarize everything event that occurred during this adventure, so I will outline it as best as I can and include links to my Galapagos Photo Journal that I completed after the trip.

We landed in on Baltra, took a ferry to Santa Cruz, a taxi across Santa Cruz to Puerto Ayora and caught a boat to San Cristobal. We spent a few days there and then returned to Santa Cruz and went to Isabella for five days. After Isabella we returned to Santa Cruz once again and we took a day trip to Floreana Island. We then explored Santa Cruz in our last few days on the islands.

I snorkeled with reef sharks, manta rays, eagle rays, marine iguanas, seals, penguins, and sea turtles. I saw Galapagos tortoises, thousands of marine iguanas, blue footed boobies, flamingos and seals up close in the wild. I hiked to the edge of an active volcano, jumped into a flooded collapsed lava tube and explored some of the lava tunnel caves in existence.

My Photo Journal has received fervent replies from everyone I have shared it with. It has been viewed over two hundred times from almost thirty counties around the world. I received an e-mail from someone planning a trip for ten to the Galapagos about the places we stayed; he planned to follow my itinerary on their trip.

This trip was truly an adventure and experience of life time and will continue to have an impact on my life.


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