Equador and the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands Travel Blog

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Great boobies!
This trip was the reason I started to travel. I remember writing a report on the Galapagos penguin in the fourth grade. Since then, I knew eventually I'd make it there. My friend Tracey and I started the journey in Quito for a few days. Our hotel hooked us up with a wonderful driver and we took two day trips out of the city.
Our first was to the Equator monument and museum. The monument was, well, a monument. A big red line painted on the ground. Ironic because I often make a huge point to my students how the equator isn't an ACTUAL line. The museum was amazing! We saw some replicas of indiginous homes and a look into their lives. But the highlight was the experiments at the equator. On the REAL equator you loose 20% of your strength and can't walk a straight line.
We saw water fall straight down a drain, then only mere feet away saw the clockwise and counterclockwise swirls in the same portable sink. I would of loved to take my class on a field trip there.
Our second trip was out to the Otavalo Market. Many books boast it is the best market in South America. We went on New Years eve (Huge holiday there) so it was pretty quiet. Typical artsy fare. We also stopped at a lake on the way and saw beautiful country side. The best part of the day was witnessing a very strange New Years eve ritual. Men dress in drag and block the road and beg for money as if they were some poor hard luck women. Children do this and dress as old ladies. Young men do this and dress as sluts. We drove by a police acadamy with a particular ronchy one. Only one person in the group is actually dressed in drag the others just watch and laugh and help block the road.
New Years traditions at their best.

The islands were ideal. As soon as we landed we saw animals. The sea lions, which I thought would be the least interesting , were my favorites. They have no fear of humans and just go about there buisness. Bright red crabs are everywhere. The blue footed boobies are adorable. We even caught a few engadging in their flashy mating dance where the males show off their feet. Marine and land iguanas are littered everywhere! They may look a little scary but just chill. Sea turtles where a little harder to spot but made an appearance. Unfortunantly, the only place to see the large land tortises was in the Darwin Center. I was a little suprised at the size of "Lonsome Georges" backside.
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Great boobies!
Great boobies!
New Years traditions at their best.
New Years traditions at their best.
Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn