Day 17: Galapagone
There are pale green curtains in my room, with shiny apples marching across their seams.
The walls are dusted with mustard yellow and the doors are a deep, rich mahogany, beckoning a new world beyond…but this morning, the 5:30 am sunrise sends my vision into grayscale. I pack my final belongings and crawl into the back of a pickup, yearning for one last bask beneath the fiery glow hiding behind that horizon.
A caravan of vehicles pulls into the docks, and our host families begin to line the pier as we all mosey along, forcing our final goodbyes.
Amanda and Fernando, our mom and dad away from home, embrace us with hopes of return, and we finally sail off, leaving behind our beloved pelicans, iguanas, penguinos, and sea lions. Aboard the Neptuno III, we attempt to avoid showers of sea-spray, but our fruitless efforts lead most of us into a transient slumber until we arrive at the docks of Baltra.
At Baltra, Hannah and Bianca surprise the group with a spread of bread rolls, courtesy of their host parents, and a couple of us hungrier folks (myself and Kristen) feast on a long-awaited breakfast.
Chugging along the lone Baltra “speedway,” our bus delivers us to the little airport and we race through security to reach our earlier-than-expected flight. Boarding passes in hand, a “sun-tanned” group of Batesies trudges along the Tarmac, enjoying their last steps on Galapagonian soil…and one swift rev of the plane engine sends us soaring back toward American shores.
Our first pit-stop lands us in Guayaquil, where we are enduring a 10-hour layover. Sprawled across the airport floor, we bare the “scars” of raging snorkels and strenuous hikes; from this moment, Galapagos is a rare memory that will reflect in our eyes forever.
It was so easy to get lost in the sultry waves and breezes that wooed our hearts to fall in love with the islands; but no amount of time will fade this adventure in paradise. Now a train of sleepyheads drags themselves to the back of flight 902–a red eye back to the states. We’ll be home soon 🙂
See you when we see you…