Caren Ware's Blog

May 9, 2012

“COME to the Galapagos”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 8:28 pm

 On the flight I sat next to a lady with a radiating smile that carried youthful genes and showed me fun pictures of her time in the Galapagos with her husband. She was careered and educated.  She shared pictures of her very attractive children. She told me what I had read.  That Ecuador had a history of vacillating leaders, but was currently under direction of an okay and strong president .Yet this current president was taxing the rich and pouring programs into the poor at too harsh of a pace.  She shared there was an election coming up and since there was no opposition, the president’s own brother, who abhorred him, was running against him.  She described a modern day Cain and Able.

experienced rigid ‘nos’ in Japan, I was pleasanted by all the yes’s in South America.  Yes, we will find a room for you.  Yes, we will call the tour guide though late in the evening.  Yes, we can make color copies for you and turn the internet computers back on just for you.

Graciously, my one day, too early of an arrival was humored. Aerogal gave me an open first class seat to fly to the Galapagos.  I flew right over the dingy industry and shanties of Guayaquil and out over the Pacific.  I could feel the Galapagos was a world away from the Ecuadorian mainland. I felt the cleanliness of the airport, plane, and the attentive airline crew.  I felt the relaxed, meandering spirit of the residents that were boarding.  I already felt I would be safely welcomed.  This kind of welcome is hard to express in words. And it is hard to find, especially in a society like bills burdened American. The Galapagos is not a place that lives beyond its means. It has time and space. I take a deep solid breath for the first time in…?

I couldn’t have a wider, internal smile. I get to disembark out of the small, pleasant plane and walk across the runway “so island” movie-scene like. A great breeze swirled the ovened air as I met Rick from Come to the Galapagos.  He was the gentle, friendly handshake I already knew he would be just by his emails and how he writes. His tour company, by design, links touring souls with local themed Galapagos, not a fabricated ‘Wally world week’ our modern appetite for packaged and predictable vacations is producing. A dog sniffs efficiently through our luggage for shark fins and sea cucumbers, Rick whispers.  “They discovered they were being snuck through pretend tourists who then sold them to the Chinese.”  Rick had me side saddle his quad runner with my luggage riding Toto style in his front basket.  He spends lunch at his home to orientate and thank each new arrival for ‘coming to the Galapagos’ he is ready to share with them.  His young son chopped and played ‘construction man’ on the porch as we chatted.

I spent the rest of the day trotting out to a beach, getting the seals to bare their teeth at me, watching a sunset, and smiling at the tracks the waddling seals leave in the sand.  I am staying on a roof top studio at Casa De Nelly overlooking the bay. The pleasant mom-type “Nelly” asked what time I would like her to make my breakfast.  I stroll into town, book a day of snorkeling, and am told that Roscia is a great place to eat.  Still smiling inside, my grilled shrimp atop marinated pasta is served just as all the lights in the entire island go out.  Not an ounce of urgency.  Candles are lit. A battery backup light weakly illuminates the eating patio.  No one is concerned that it might take hours to come back on.  I try to follow suit.  Another unforced deep breath freely fills my lungs.

I am now at an internet…slash… ice cream place…slash… coffee place and I am able to send these pictures for the price of a piece of homemade chocolate cake. (Ps.  The electric almost unnoticeable came back on.) Internet access here sure beats the trouble I encountered in the Australian Outback where it had cost $25 for five minutes that never went through.  A cup of coffee or a piece of cake works for me.  PPS.  I am still very concerned about my body’s ability to do this marathon.  I had a ham string cramp up on me today and I am winded at the least of hills??

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