Monday 25 August 2014

Day 107: The Galápagos Islands Day 8 - Farewell

Even the Sea Lions were sad to see us go!
After a rough night that put paid to all suggestions of a farewell party, we docked back where we started our cruise: in San Cristobal harbour.  We enjoyed watching the antics of the sea lions and crabs again, but we didn't take any photos.  Today, photographic gluttony comes to an end.

Before leaving the islands, we had time for a quick visit to the Interpretation Centre, to be shocked by the human history of the islands: a tale of piracy, penal colonies with horrendous conditions, colonial competition and decimation of species like the giant tortoise to fill ships' galleys (tortoises can live for months without feeding so they sit perfectly on the menu in the latter part of a ship's voyage.  Unfortunately, there's nothing perfect about this for the tortoise).  There was also plenty of information about Darwin, the theory of evolution, and the formation of the islands, but with an Earth Sciences degree and three years' work experience at the Natural History Museum between us, those are the sides of the islands' history that we were most au fait with at the outset.  Instead of lingering, we went for a final wander down to the beach to say our farewells to our most constant daily companions - guess who? - the sea lions.  Then it was time to go to the airport, rejecting the boobie t-shirts for the final time in passing.

Guayaquil, the night's destination, boasts burger bars and traffic, chain stores and banks, the ceaseless growl of engines, express kidnappings by taxi.  Glancing out to sea, the Galápagos Islands lie hidden far far below the horizon.  Couldn't we go back there and stay with the turtles, please?

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