This will be quick since I'm tired and the internet is about to shut off, but today was the last day in the Galapagos before we head back to the States, stopping briefly in Quito for a few hours in between.
Although I wish I could've seen more of the town and the surrounding area, it was a good final day on Santa Cruz Island. I spent most of it with Nancy and Nadya, taking photos of the water edge (since all of our projects have some connection to marine living) and then attending an informative meeting with a representative from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF - not to be mistaken for other heavy lifters). They're doing a lot of mediation between the government and local communities, particularly in areas of tourism and renewable energy. Although what they call "eco-tourism" still sounds like green washing and not real sustainability (at least to our limited knowledge), it's good to know there are advocates who are entrenched in environmental conservation and are now becoming more conscientious about sustainable urban living as well.
We then took a long meandering walk to the beautiful Tortuga Bay Beach, about a 45 minute mini hike along a lava rock-paved trail. It was quite wild and idyllic, with the beach itself stretching far in the distance and made of extremely fine sand. (Juliet called it "pearl sand.") With crystal clear waters and gnarly mangroves lining natural black lava rock breakwaters on the coast... it was a perfect spot for a dip as the sun was setting.
After a last huge meal of seafood, ceviche, and more, we now begin returning back to reality... Here we go! More updates later.