Galapagos Islands & Ecuador
[singlepic=876,150,,,right]In April of 2004, I traveled with two girlfriends to one of the most unique destinations in the world – the Galapagos Islands. This small corner of the world is completely unique to anywhere else, and each island is so distinct from the next.
[singlepic=887,150,,,left]Whether we were exploring the area by land or sea with Gap Adventures, every day brought new surprises – the half-ton sting rays catapulting themselves into gravity-defying flips; the multitudes of dolphins leading the way for our boat; the graceful sea turtles peaking up to the surface; the blue-footed boobies cartoonish mating dance; puffed-up frigate birds courting the females; massive bull sea lions charging at each other over territory; fairy penguins darting about us underwater; playful sea lions curiously investigating our snorkel gear; brightly colored sally-lightfoot crabs darting over the rocks; and stone-faced iguanas warming up under the sun were just a few of the surreal experiences we encountered.
[singlepic=895,150,,,right]And making the most of our time, we even had the opportunity to visit rural parts of Ecuador. Similar to the Galapagos, Chugchilán and Otavalo are volcanic areas in the heart of the Andes. The Black Sheep Inn in Chugchilán was an incredible spot to take in the beauty of the area. Even the eco-friendly bathrooms had amazing views!
[singlepic=903,150,,,left]And the views weren’t limited to the land. As we were at the Equator and at such a high altitude, we witnessed amazing lightening storms that were taking place hundreds of miles away, and could even see both the Big Dipper and the Southern Cross – two constellations very much representative of the northern and southern hemispheres.
And a shopping trip to the market town of Otavalo was very necessary – but we decided to pass on purchasing any livestock.
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