Sunday, July 8, 2012

Volcanoes and Sea Turtles

Well, here it is, the final blog.

I've decided to wait to cover our last couple of days in the Islands. On Isabella, we took an entire day to explore.

We woke early, breakfast at 6:30, and set out to climb 9 kilometers (there and back) to the apex of the second largest active volcano in the world. It was cold as we made our way up, wet, and muddy. As we neared the top, however, the clouds gave way and the sun began to come out, and the equatorial heat was back. From the rim, we looked out at the vast expanse of charred nothingness, seemingly endless—we couldn't even see the other side because of the low-hanging clouds over the islands. Toward the top, there was a cadre of horses, and Colleen, our resident cowgirl, gave rides to equestrian newcomers.

The way back down was quicker and even dirtier; Connor got his shoe stuck in the mud. After, we returned to the hotel, changed, and set out for an island filled with marine iguanas, the surface of which looked something like that of the asteroid Bruce Willis attempts to drill in Armageddon.

But the best part was what came next; we took the boats back into the cove, and, as we had many times before, put on our snorkeling gear and dropped into the water. After climbing over a couple rocks, we entered a tidal cove, and saw sea anemonies, penguins, and a huge sea turtle (he or she must have weighed 300 pounds). I swam down under it, around it, and could not believe just how absurd and incredible the entire experience was.

I'm so thankful we had the opportunity to go on this trip—until next time!

Joseph Gruenbaum

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