I took my third trip to Galapagos in November and can I just say I fell in love! While I've always appreciated the Galapagos, somehow this trip felt more magical than the first two. We saw so much wildlife up close! I went with Oliver, my co-lead, and 17 of the most fun students! From the start they were super encouraging, calling us the Dream Team and telling us they had the best trip leads. And we loved them! They were flexible and excited and uncomplaining. We had great dinner conversations and boat conversations and lots of laughs on buses in airports.

The weather our first day was perfect - just a bit misty which is what you want when you're hiking through turtle land. We got to catch some Galapagos turtles mating! That afternoon I got to introduce them to the magic of Las Grietas, with it's extra salty water and mysterious dark water. This was following a bit of mayhem when Oliver and Paul accidentally locked all $6,000 of cash in my hotel safe with no way to get it out. We spent the next day on two boats and I loved my crew. They jumped into snorkeling and Amelia and I were entranced with a sea lion who liked to bite our flippers. We spent an hour in the water at Hidden Beach. I loved riding on the top of the boat, chatting with Emma about love and life and being an enneagram 7. At night we ate lobster and fish, at a table out on a cobblestone street. Day three was spent at Tortuga Bay, where we packed a cooler of sandwiches and took a 45-minute walk to pristine beaches. Ollie and I used that time to talk about the ethics of surrogacy with Tara. We went around to the bay side, past the marine iguanas and camped out til late afternoon. We played some bad spikeball but the real magic was in the bay water. We encountered a sea turtle, a few small sharks and so many rays swimming in and amongst us. Our last day was the students' "free" day. Many chose to go scuba diving and I got the job of chaperoning that crew since my partner had no desire to. Initially I was disappointed to go because I don't love scuba diving and was looking forward to a slower day. But man am I glad I did! I confirmed that scuba diving is NOT for me. I get a migraine within minute of going down. But I'm glad I did it again. We saw SO MANY sharks: white tip, Galapagos. Incredible. Our instructor, Joel, was incredibly cautious and reassuring and good under the water. But man was I glad to surface! The rest of the day I spent sunbathing and laughing with the girls on the boat and it was so relaxing and enjoyable. I'd do it all again just for the boat time! The girls were pretty into our two diving instructors so that made for some fun moments. I so appreciated getting to know both Annika and Tyra much better on this trip, and seeing Allison come out of her shell. Logan and Paul impressed me with their helpful, always willing attitudes. That night we cleaned up in time to cross the dock and eat at a restaurant on the water. We ate tuna steak curry as we watched sea turtles, rays and small sharks swim by us. It was amazing and the perfect ending to our trip! Of course every evening we ended with ice cream at Galapagos Deli: mint + coffee swirl for me!

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