Our last morning in The Galapagos anchored in Puerto Ayora. We had a ton of last minute boat chores to do, downloading of home education work, emails and social media to wrap up. On top of that, I had just learned the day before over supper at La Garrapata (which ironically means "flea") that nits were doing the rounds among the boat kids, and having registered a bit of scratching that evening, on inspecting our kids found I needed to take immediate action, nuking and combing them out. That was nearly the last straw but for the fact that we had caught it early and had yet to put the fresh bedding on, which I had just picked up from the laundry that evening. No wonder we were ready to leap in a canyon before setting sail!
Isabelle, Catherine and I had been the day before, and we couldn’t wait to show Francis and Xavier. We picked up a boat taxi at 7am that took us over to the dinghy dock of Finch Bay Eco Hotel, and from there it was a 20 minute walk following the trail, weaving our way along a beach, past some roseacre salt marshes, and through brush to where a canyon opened out. I remember thinking the first time that the walk alone was worth the journey, but arriving at the destination is a whole new ball game. The wooden steps down the side of the canyon are treacherously slippery and lead down to black granite rocks where people change and leave bags. Unlike yesterday when we found not a soul, today there were three people just emerging from a swim and a few German-speaking tourists hot on our heels. Still, the beauty of the place had us spellbound, and that moment of jumping into the water off the pontoon held all the exhilarating magic as if there was not a soul around. Catherine meanwhile slid in from the side, in her life-jacket. She can swim perfectly well on her own now, but we found yesterday the water, a gentler mix of fresh and saline, was several degrees too chilled for her to remember that and enjoy the experience. Today she really could.
The view underwater was amazing. An underwater mountain stretching down and gigantic parrot fish barely a meter underneath the surface. After the blessing of holy water on Sunday (see post - click here), here was nature’s baptism, an auspicious start to our Pacific Passage heralding in all the joy and excitement ahead in the Age of Aquarius!