Thursday, October 26, 2006

Friday Destination Dreaming # 2

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos are an archipelago of 13 main volcanic islands, approximately 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, and home to a variety of species that are specifically adapted to their unique environments. Made famous by Charles Darwin's 'discovery' and subsequent theories of evolution, present day Galapagos is an exotic destination for adventure and nature enthusiasts. One can cruise between the islands with opportunities to snorkel, dive, and explore varied habitats that are home to seagoing lizards, seals, giant tortoises, and a variety of rare birds, from cormorant and penguins to clownish boobies and finches.

My personal reason for wanting to be swept away to the Galapagos has little to do with the cruising (I get horribly seasick), and everything to do with the desire to see any bit of this world that is still pristinely 'natural'. I have friends who have gone, and the first thing they always say is 'hurry up'. Humanity is encroaching on the land of the reptile and this place will not remain untouched for long. In a sense, this is funny, because this is what EVERYONE says about any popular destination that already has a solid tourist infrastructure. If people are telling you to 'hurry up', you are already too late. No matter. I know I will get joy from walking right up to an endemic specie like the boobie or patriarchal tortoise, and have them stand their ground without fear of a human. The clean air and clear waters will refresh and rejuvenate my soul, cleansing me of city stress. What could be better?

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