We woke up early our very last full day and took a two-hour boat ride to Santa Cruz island…which is really the main island of the Galapagos.
We pulled in to the little port town of Puerto Ayora and immediately fell in love with it.
We only had one day in Santa Cruz so we hustled to check into our hotel, changed into our swimsuits and headed straight to Tortuga Bay (second on my list of most-wanted-to-see-things right up there with Kicker Rock).
There is a LONG pathway to this beach. They weren’t joking when they told us it would take 40 minutes to walk it…closer to an hour with Lucy in tow.
But it was all paved and nice… and although Lucy complained a little, those good sisters of her distracted her with all kinds of subjects to take her mind off all the walking.
Plus there were some pretty unique plants to look at along the way.
(looks like someone took a chunk out of that poor guy up there…)
and see the marine life our friends had raved about there. I figured maybe she could see it better
perched in a boat right above than trying to look through a scuba mask. I saw a huge Galapagos shark, a turtle popped up in
front of us twice, and a gigantic sting ray floated around our kayak a couple
times. But Lucy saw none of it, no
matter how earnestly I tried to describe and point her eyes in the right
direction. That was hard on me.
…with their iguana friend lounging over to the left…see him?
and took a lot more cajoling and enthusiasm trying to spill over to that girl
of ours. And it took a LONG time.
finally arrived, and took us to the highlands to visit a huge tortoise farm.
Our taxi driver slowed down and wanted me to take a picture of this sign:
…which I thought was very sweet of him.
first easy tunnel):
We became mesmerized by those huge creatures. The breathy, hollow sounds they make when their heads and legs start to retreat inside their massive shells, their s-l-o-w movements to get such a short distance, their tiny eyes and grass-munching mouths were all so fascinating to me.
not too much further up the road and Elle, Claire and I took him up on his offer while the others headed back.
Well, and this one, but it only shows my two lovely dates, not the two lovely craters…
landscape was formed because under the ground you are stepping on, magma flowed
until the volcanic activity[of the island] came to an end. When the liquid rock cooled down and
contracted, unstable zones were left. As
time went by they collapsed and built the holes or craters you are looking at.
apparent destruction can create beauty.”
me right at that moment, telling me all that wrestling in my heart about Lucy…and all Dave’s worry would work
out and create beauty. We just have to be
patient. And also be on the lookout to
recognize the beauty that would be created from the collapsing of unstable
magma flowing through me and through Dave.
I hope I can remember that feeling of light and hope coming over me as I read that standing there in the slight breeze overlooking that “apparent-destruction-turned-beautiful.”
That night we walked through the open-air weekend restaurant Santa Cruz scene…
…to meet back up with our friends for our last dinner all together.
We were all talking a mile a minute to catch up and exchange adventure stories from the last couple days.
By this time Lucy was pretty tuckered out 🙂
The next morning we packed up and headed to the Baltra airport…which was an adventure in and of itself: a 40-minute taxi ride, all bottlenecked at a spot where you
have to take a boat for two minutes across a little channel…throwing the
luggage precariously on the top of the boat and then throwing it off again on
the other side, crossing fingers nothing fell in, then a bus ride through
deserted scrub to the airport.
cake (of all things) for breakfast since we were starving and those were the
We had a long layover in Quito before our flight back to the states…which didn’t take off until 1:30am. Luckily there was this nice hotel lounge right at the airport we were able to lounge out in.
Lucy found a great spot to crash until our next flight:
Let’s take a closer look at that girl:
There were some tricky times for sure for this girl…and for us as her parents (and sisters) on this trip. So many emotions swirling around inside me.
But as I watched her sleep on that chair that night with all those memories floating through my heart I just had such an incredible wave of gratitude for her and that I get to be her mother.
And that we got to create those memories together….as a family. For her pluckiness to work to keep up…the miles she walked before we left to get ready, the pushing through the tough stuff, the delight playing card games together and the willingness (after a little cajoling sometimes) to try so many new things. And for everyone else for working together as a team.
I got so overwhelmed with gratitude for all these travel companions of mine…
….and also the one who’s been missing for a couple years who’s coming to join us in the adventures in just 11 days from now.
As I talked about in the last post, as Lucy’s eyesight continues to diminish we will keep adjusting the balance of things, and sometimes it’s heart-wrenching to watch that happen. Our family dynamics will change a bit here and there. But man alive am I ever grateful we get to figure it out together…me and those adventure partners of mine…all six of them.
Love them forever.