San Cristóbal, Galapagos Islands: Part 3
This week started out totally awesome. My normal days off from volunteering are Monday and Tuesday. On Tuesday I decided to play tourist for a day, and I decided to take a tour out to Punta Pitt and Leon Dormido. These are the “must sees” of the island. The day started early, with a 6:20 meeting time at the travel agency to get fitted with a wet suit, fins, and mask. Two and a half hours later, we arrived at Punta Pitt. Here we hiked down and back up a caldera. We saw the blue and red footed boobies nesting, as well as many lizards and sea lions. After a nice ceviche lunch back on the boat, we set out for snorkeling at Leon Dormido.
The weather was pretty much perfect for snorkeling. However, once we entered the water, the visibility was total shit. We snorkeled around Leon Dormido, and swam with a Galapagos shark, sea lions, sea turtles, and many different kinds of fish that I can’t name. I swear a male sea lion tried to take a bite out of my arm! I was just snorkeling, minding my own business. I looked right, and this huge male sea lion was coming at me with his mouth wide open, and a not so friendly look on his face. I shrieked, “ahhhh!” into my snorkel, and I quickly turned left. The sea lion grazed passed the right side of my body. Normally they aren’t aggressive… maybe he was having a bad day, or he was just trying to mess with me. Either way, my heart was pumpin’! My favorite moment of the trip was when I came upon a solitary sea turtle. He let me take some photos, then seemed to want to take me on a swim. A lot of turtles we came across would just sprint away from us, or would dive down deeper out of reach. This one wanted me to follow him. I let him lazily lead me through the sea, and we had a serene swim together. It was beautiful.******INSERT TURTLE VIDEO HERE******
The following day, I received some devastating news. My Grandpa Herb had passed away. I immediately started to cry. This has always been my biggest concern while traveling abroad, is that something might happen to my grandpa or my aunt. I have been helping take care of both of them for years, and I spend a lot of time with them when I am back home.
This was a huge loss for me, and one that will take time to process and accept. I am thankful for all the years and memories I had with him. He may have not understood why I wanted to help people, animals, and the environment when I travel, but he was always my biggest supporter.
Since Grandpa was always so interested in and supported my travels, my Dad and I decided I should not come home. My Grandpa did not want a funeral, so I was not missing that. In my heart I know that he would want me to carry on, doing what I do. I know he was proud of what I did. I will miss him asking question after question upon my return. He always asked about the food and what people did for entertainment. It is too bad that his postcard I sent him did not arrive before his passing. I sent it the morning that he passed away 🙁
I took the rest of the week off to reflect. Luckily I had a little distraction to help get my mind off things, little Rocky. My friend Ashley and her husband got a puppy! With both of them working, I was often on puppy duty. I had completely forgotten how much puppies sleep, oh my! I am very thankful for the love and support of both Ashley, Alex, and their family in my time of need. It was great to be surrounded by love and concern so far from home.