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Journals from Galapagos, Ecuador

2010-12-04 Add a title for your entry

The crew, in our ever persistent avoidance of island fever, planned a camping trip. Puerto Chino, a beautiful beach on the other side of the island, is technically National Park land, but permission is often granted for campers. We met up early Saturday morning and piled into three pickup trucks, heading out across the island. Michael, another student from Oregon, and I sat in the bed of one truck with our luggage and talked as we crossed the highlands. We both agreed that the highlands strangely reminded us of Oregon. There are five students from Oregon on the trip, a whopping 18% of the whole group. New York is also well represented and the two groups have a friendly rivalry as to which coast is better. Once we got to the beach we threw down our luggage, ate some crackers for strength, and threw ourselves into surfing with gusto, if no talent. I am not a naturally gifted surfer. My only consolation: neither is anyone else who has ever tried surfing. The only solution then is to keep practicing until your stomach is red from the board soap and you are throwing up salt-water. I came in before dark and hiked to the top of a "hill" (actual translation: pile of rocks) to watch the sun set with a few of the other girls. After "dinner" (actual translation: smorgasbord of Oreos, bread and Ecuadorian peanut butter) we all sat in a circle on the beach, gathered around a flashlight (no fire in a national park,) passing a very classy box of wine and telling stories. It was a fun night, with few of us getting to sleep before 3:30am. I slept out on the sand, my last thought before drifting off to sleep questioning the likelihood of contracting Chagas disease. The next morning we woke up and watched the sun rise from the beach (not nearly as beautiful as it might sound since it was terribly cloudy and only a small strip of horizon actually turned pink.) We had "breakfast" (see: "dinner") and commenced with more surfing, wave jumping, and boogie boarding. Before we knew it, it was time to pile back into our pre-ordered taxis and head home, easily reaching town before dark.

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