In my last blog post, I shared I was headed to the Galapagos Islands with my wife Peggy, and some close family members and friends, fulfilling a serendipitous and lifelong dream.
The trip turned out to be unbelievably fantastic in every way. We were invited to fly to coastal Ecuador, where we refueled and then flew another 600 miles west over the Pacific Ocean to an airport on the island of Baltra. There we boarded a beautiful yacht where we spent the next week aboard exploring the six central islands of the Galapagos.
The book about Darwin and the Galapagos Islands, titled THE WONDERS OF LIFE ON EARTH that I mentioned reading as a young boy in my last blog (and which I had serendipitously found in a box in my attic a few months earlier) I re-read as an adult right before this trip. It helped to educate me - but not prepare me - for the experience I was to have.
The onboard naturalist shared with us her geologic knowledge behind the evolution of an underwater volcano into a large, mountainous island, which is how all of the Galapagos Islands were formed. She was equally well versed in the Darwinian Theory behind the evolution and life histories of all of the flora and fauna that abounded throughout the islands.
Every day we were swimming and snorkeling with sea lions and fur seals, with reef sharks and green sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, penguins, and all sorts of tropical fish.
We hiked to volcano tops, and along the way saw red-footed boobies, storm petrels, swallow tailed gulls, pink flamingos and frigate birds, as well as yellow land iguanas, dark marine iguanas, lava lizards, and of course, the iconic – and giant - Galapagos tortoises.
All I can say is that it was the trip of a lifetime that will never be forgotten. And never to be forgotten will be the extreme generosity of the two people that invited us along.
They helped to make a little boy’s dream from fifty years ago come true.