If there is one thing that we have come to understand as we travel it is that we should take things as they come and believe that everything will turn out alright. I had always thought that this was an area that I was quite adept at but how wrong I was proven. The Galapagos Isles have always been my dream destination after watching numerous documentaries on the geology and wildlife on the isles.
Marine Iguanas- a common sight on Isabel Island
We made plans to travel to this famous group of islands as we were travelling in South America. Of course, there were many options available but we had a budget to meet and its had already been accorded the highest portion of our budget. The more popular way of travelling is to join a cruise that will take you to various attractions around the islands. We thought that this might not be the most suitable option for us with two young kids (most cruise boats have minimum age criteria). In the end, we opted for land-based travel, staying 8 days on the Santa Cruz and Isabella isles. We were hoping that this would provide more space to the girls compared to the confinement of a boat.
We thought that we were ready to embrace the wonder of this place and went there with great excitement and anticipation. Alas, Huijun was down with intestinal problems again and this time she was doing worse than the last occasion. Hence, the first three days of our stay on Santa Cruz were really for her to recover. We sought medical treatment and got medicine for her from the local doctor. You can imagine the inner frustration that we felt, as all the attractions were out there but we could not do much. Luckily, the owner of the accommodation that we stayed was very caring and helped us to arrange for medical treatment for Huijun and later Talia too. She had also contracted the intestinal problem and would vomit after consumption of food.
The boat ride from Santa Cruz to Isabella was 2 hours ride on choppy water in a small craft. Huijun and the girls barely endured the sea sickness and several plastic bags were utilized. At some point, I felt bad that I had to let my family suffer when we were supposed to be on holiday. However, things were not all that bad. By the fourth day, Talia was feeling better and I even brought the two girls out to town for dinner while Huijun rested in the hotel. We made the best out of the limitations and I must really thank Huijun for taking care of the girls on the Fifth day while I went on a trek up the Volcano. By the sixth day, Huijun was feeling better and even managed to do some snorkeling in the sea.Trekking up to the active volcanic mountain on Isabela
In a modern day mindset where we always plan and hope to optimize every single minute to satisfy our wants, we tend to look at the what ifs? What if we had taken sea sick pills before our journey… What if we had come up with other better ideas, too many questions!
We learned not to look back with too many questions for ourselves but to make the best out of the present. In the end, the questions would lead to no significant gain for ourselves or others. However, the manner and value that we apply in each situation together with the humility to accept our strength and weakness will lend itself to a satisfactory and genuine return for our effort.
After Galapagos, we continued our journey to Guayaquil and Puerto Lopez. We continue to be blessed with meeting amazing people who have accepted us with generosity and kindness. Guayaquil is the second largest city in Ecuador. It’s a modern city with a good infrastructure and transport system. It’s nice to take a walk along the Esplanade, enjoying the river view and ending off with some street bazaar shopping. We arrived in Puerto Lopez (PL) at the beginning of the whale watching season. Took a whale watching trip and saw some humpback whales. PL has a small town feel where people know each other. The locals are friendly and eager to get to know you especially as Asians are not a common sight. I’m sure that my business and affairs with Ecuador will not just end with this trip. Adios for now…