Leaving Paradise

Feb 16, 2012

Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands

This photo was taken at sunset the evening before, but this is what I think Paradise looks like.

I got up early my last day on Santa Cruz island. Finished packing and then headed to the docks to take a few last photos in the early morning sun. By 8am though it is already harsh and strong. I snapped a couple of photos of the bay and boats, waved to a few of the guides that I had traveled with in the past few days and headed back to my hotel for one last breakfast.

My transfer driver came to pick me up at 9am and off we went for the 40-50 minute drive to the ferry to take us to Baltra Island where the airport is.

The ferries are funny … They fit about 50 people, all crowded in on the lower level with all of our luggage stowed (not so safely) on the roof of the boat. Once I was on the ferry I saw a familiar face, but couldn’t quite place him. I noticed him tell the man collecting the .80c fee that mine was covered, so I figured the familiar face was there to take care of me. The ferry takes about 7-10 minutes. I honestly think it goes extra slow just so that staff have time to collect everyone’s fees.

Once I got off, the familiar face was quick to help me with my luggage, show me where to stand and usher me into the shade. It was here that I asked his name … it was Darwin! The transfer driver who ate lunch with Mariana and I and who dropped us off at the Charles Darwin Station. How could I forget Darwin!

Darwin continued to get my luggage on the bus to the airport, push his way through to bus line with me in tow. The bus was so packed that we both had to stand up on the 10 minute twisty turny bus ride to the airport. Darwin once again took care of my baggage and showed me where to go to check in. All of this without speaking any English.

Check in went smoothly, he pointed me toward a small market to buy some souvenirs and showed me which line up to stand in to go through security. I gave him a hug and a small tip, said thank you and went on my way.

Once through security I sat for nearly 2 hours, drenched in my own sweat even though I was sitting still. The heat is almost stifiling. There wasn’t a dry person in that airport, all of us with glistening arms, foreheads and wet spots on our backs.

I ran into my friends Tanya and Victor who rescued me on my first day. I also chatted with Kate from one of my boat tours. Unfortunately none of that really seemed to help the time pass more quickly. It was like being in a sauna with a couple hundred people. Sound like fun?

Thank goodness for the air conditioning once we got on the plane. And, it was a beautiful day for flying, so flights leaving Galapagos, flying into Guayaquil for our stop over and then into Quito were all beautiful.

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