At last, it was time to return to land. Before our final stop in the Galapagos, we would venture to see the island’s symbol of endemic and endangered species: The Galapagos Tortoise. Huge, shy creatures, they could be found throughout “farms” where they are protected from hunting and other threats.
At last, with a heavy heart, and the sway of the boat still in our steps, we returned to San Cristobal, where we had embarked only a week prior.
With a few hours remaining before our flights, we visited a nearby Sea Lion Refuge, full of squealing pups and protective mothers.
When we finally arrived to the airport, we learned our flights had been delayed, although no reason was given. We passed the time reminiscing of the week’s journey, almost in a state of shock that it had already ended. For a week, we had been disconnected from the world, submerged in a place where dolphin speak and waves filled the void and where hand signals convey life-saving messages. As we turned on our phones and electronic devices, connecting to the outside world for the first time since our arrival, we were greeted by news of an impending hurricane in the Northeast United States – the destination of a few of the travelers, including myself.
Yet even that news seemed to hold no meaning – it was of another place. It wasn’t until en route, shaken by the turbulence of the hurricane, that I felt the weight of the world awaiting my return.