Day 7: The wall of tears (and sweat)
Today started off bright and early with breakfast in our homestays followed by trips to bike stores. Once we got fitted to our bikes, we were off on our 8 kilometer trek to the Wall of Tears.
The Wall of Tears, or El Muro de las Lágrimas in Spanish, is a wall built by members of a penal colony on Isabela during the 1940s and ’50s. They stacked the stones about 60 feet high without cement, and without real reason — the wall is essentially in the middle of nowhere, and was just used as something for the prisoners to do. For us, the wall may as well have been named the Wall of Sweat; after a bike ride partially uphill through the intense heat, we were all dripping!
Thankfully we took two short cool-down nature walks to Lovers’ Beach and through a beautiful mangrove forest, where we saw an eel, boobies feeding, and a number of marine iguanas. The nature walks — particularly seeing the mangroves’ immense root systems and the moray eel —were by far my favorite part of the day.
After lunch, we split into teams to do a plant identification scavenger hunt, where the team that found and identified the most plants won ice cream.
After a long day outside, we were all exhausted, and Symme and I were sad to see that our nails–perfectly painted by our host mom Lorena while we watched Frozen–were chipped. But nail polish can always be fixed, and Symme and I are definitely eager to have another girls night in with Lorena and her daughter Mayte. All in all, it was a tiring day for everyone, but we’ll sleep like rocks tonight before heading out tomorrow to see the birds of Tortuga!