Location: The Galapagos
For many, including myself, today was a day we will never forget. It’s one of those days that will forever stay on our top ten lists of the most incredible experiences ever. We started off this spectacular day, waking up to a wonderful breakfast fueling us up for the adventurous day ahead. After breakfast, we ventured to the island of Floreana, where we all had our first encounter with the world-famous Blue-Footed Booby. We were also lucky enough to see a baby booby. Unlike its parents, this little bird is completely white and fluffy. According to our guide Javier, this particular baby was only about two months old. We were then taken a little deeper into the island, where we encountered a group of bright pink flamingos. For a short while, we marveled at the beautiful birds until we crossed to another part of the island. There we came upon a beautiful white sandy beach. Animals ranging from bright and dark-colored crabs to sea lions and stingrays caught our eye’s attention in almost every direction. After the morning island visit, we were taken back to the boat, where we took a splash from the top of the boat into the clear blue ocean below. Afterward, it was finally time for what others and myself had been desperately awaiting the entire trip…snorkeling. Javier took us to a beautiful snorkel spot called Devils Crown. Ever before diving into the water, we had already begun to see one of our most favorite animals…sea lions! Once into the water, we were astounded at what lay beneath. The ocean, for many is a wonderfully mysterious place that fortunately welcomes our arrival at any time. As I was descending into the shallow depths, I was greeted with many schools of all different kinds of fish with colors ranging from blues to yellows and even purples. My personal favorite is the parrotfish. This type of fish is noticeably larger than most with shimmering with bright fluorescent colors. After snorkeling at Devils Crown, we were moved to another spot which was closer to shore with flatter, less rocky terrain. There were not as many fish in this spot as before, but it was still spectacular. Right before we left heading back to the boat, we saw a pack of stingrays at the bottom of the ocean. By this time, our stomachs were grumbling for lunch, and this lunch definitely satisfied them. Within only about five minutes, our once colorful plates full of beautifully crafted cuisine was completely cleared. After lunch, we were allotted time to relax in the sun and rest up for the second half of the day. Just when I thought the vision of paradise could not be defined any better, we all got to swim with sea turtles for the first time ever. Snorkeling for the second half of the day was from the shore, and aside from the beautiful multicolored fish, we saw so many sea turtles. Few even saw a sea lion swim right in front of them! Onshore we entered Post Office Bay. In Post Office Bay, travelers write to either themselves or family on postcards and put them in a wooden barrel. The postcards then await its hand-delivered arrival from another traveler whose hometown is the same as the card is addressed. After snorkeling and Post Office Bay, we all rode in the dinghies to another part of the island where we saw many lazy sea lions resting on the volcanic rock. At one point, we saw two penguins resting as well. Overall, it was all truly a breathtaking sight. In fact, everything here in the Galapagos is truly outstanding and simply jaw-dropping. We all continue to look forward to what the next few days will bring us.