Our incredible adventure through Ecuador is finally at an end, but our memories of these past 25 days will never fade. When we think back on our time here, we’ll remember the activities, the exotic locations, and most importantly, the strong friendships we formed with one another. This group had the perfect mix of personalities to make touring Ecuador an absolute blast.
Our last few days in the Galápagos, which we spent on the beautiful island of Santa Cruz, had a little bit of everything. We spent lots of time exploring the natural world around us. One of our favorite sights was the incredible beach at Tortuga Bay, at which we swam, hung out, and kayaked around the nearby mangrove trees. We also visited one of the island’s volcanic craters and hiked through a subterranean lava tunnel (which at times was a big as a subway tunnel, but at others was so small that we had to crawl through on our hands and knees!).
Community service was another important part of our stay on Santa Cruz. Our community service placement involved planting native plants on cleared land. By doing so, we helped preserve the beauty of the Galápagos which we had enjoyed so much.
We also had a chance to take in more of the exotic animals of the islands. We visited a research centre which specialized in giant tortoises, and all of us were very touched by the story of Lonesome George, who was the last of his particular species! The centre’s baby tortoises, however, put the smiles back on our faces.
When we weren’t trekking around Santa Cruz, we were spending time as a group at our hotel or in town. Who will forget our Lip Sync Competition, in which Lindsey D. stole the show with her performance in Bohemian Rhapsody, or the Oreo Challenge, in which both Dalya and Joey showed an amazing natural ability to eat Oreos with no hands? Our Ecuador Jeopardy! night was particularly impressive – both teams remembered all the answers, no matter what devilish questions the trip leaders threw at them.
In summary, this was a trip that had it all. Adventure? We white water rafted in the Amazon jungle and ziplined over the canopies of the highlands. Education? Our Ecuadoriculous facts of the day and visits to various communities saw to that. Bonding? Anyone who saw our emotional goodbyes on our last day would have thought we had been together 25 weeks, rather than 25 days. What a ride!
The Westcoast Blogger