Well we are definitely not in Colorado anymore! We arrived in Quito and our hotel is nestled in this super green valley. Our first day was spent in the “old town” of Quito wandering the streets which reminded me a bit of San Francisco because they were so hilly. Beautiful colonial architecture with store fronts all along the town centre. Keith and I both dove right into trying to speak the Spanish language. It is definitely confirmed that he is a better speaker and I can hear it better – so as a team we do pretty well. I am just trying to digest and remember all the new words. Each night I have been super tired and I think part of that is just feeling like you are always working at communication.
We just returned from our five day tour of the Galapagos islands. WOW is all I can say. This unique place met all expectations. I could go on and on about the wildlife. As we first landed on the island it felt a bit like I had been transported right into the movie Jurassic Park. You all know how much that made me smile! So to give some of the highlights…..The first island was Santa Cruz – the largest island we visited. We spent the morning at a tortoise reserve walking around in the wild with these gigantic creatures. They look like a cross between ET and a very old grandpa and are so darn cute! We also walked and crawled (I am not kidding) through lava tunnels which was quite an experience. The next day was spent on the smallest of islands we visited called Floreana. This island only has approximately 200 inhabitants. Black sand beaches, Christmas iguanas, blue footed boobies, penguins and sea lions were everywhere you turned. It was so strange to just walk by these creatures like they were a domestic animal. We snorkeled off of a white sand beach with turtles. Sunsets were gorgeous! Then off to the last island of Isabela. Here we did some pretty fantastic snorkeling! We played with a baby sea lion in the water. I thought Keith said it best when he said that they were like the golden retriever of the sea. We also swam with turtles, sharks, sting rays and large colorful schools of fish. I will be smiling for months. We returned back for one more day in Santa Cruz and got to see flamingos both hanging out and flying – they are beautiful when they fly. Now we are back in Quito. I am swaying right now as I type since we took many boat hops from island to island. Galapagos was a GREAT start to our adventure. Tomorrow we are moving to Otovalo to experience one of the most famous markets in Ecuador. I am beginning to decompress but I have to say the dream of all this has not quite hit me yet. Will certainly let you know when it does. Buenos Noches!