It’s a long way to go to see George, a 150 year old turtle in downward dog, but the Galapagos is Ecuador’s major calling card. These enchanted isles are inspiring even if they are devoid of vegetation and look more like the moon than Hawaii. We certainly got the inhabited feel of this place on land shuffling ( speed boating) between the near-deserted Floreana, volcano-heavy Isabela, and the people-populated Santa Cruz. The waters were rough and chilly but not for my girls! We suited up like Scuba Bob and headed down under to experience the glorious sea life. Our wonderful guide Paul taught us about endemic species to the Galapagos while trusting his instincts that we were capable of hiking the 4 hours up Sierra
Negra volcano without horse help! So much history to learn and absorb about this archipelago of islands.It was only appropriate that we shed a few tears at Muro De Lagrimas or Wall of Tears on Isabela (the largest island) for the thousands of prisoners who died in forced labor and isolation when in the 20th century it was used as a penal colony for the country of Ecuador.
The trip was blissful and quite seemless. One of the most memorable scenes was a white sand beach on Floreanna where the Wittmers settled
and remain present today where we hiked on a bed of volcanic rock amid scuttling Sally Lightfoot crabs. It seemed like a vision of earth in its early days and of the world as it could be…Peaceful.