So...I´m not going to write day by day descriptions...I´m just going to fill you in on some of the highlights during the last 4 days aboard the Sulidae, sailing the Galapagos, with some of the most wonderful people.
We had a slight poo problem. Actually, it was a MAJOR poo problem. The toilets aboard the sailboat were pretty interesting, and add some poo into the bowl and it was just no good for anyone. The first two days I managed to flush my morning poo´s with the assistance of Pat. God bless her. The pump to flush the toilet is right next to the bowl, so as you are frantically pumping you are simultaneously face to face with the dirty deed. Ew. I have never been so intimate with poop in my whole life. I finally stepped on deck and desperately asked if anyone else was having flush problems, and luckily my dear friends and neighbors aboard the sulidae, Peter and Shane, were having some serious problems as well. They had to call Floro to bail them out once or twice, but said that with about a half hour worth of time, plunging the toilet with the toilet cleaner, adding water and pumping - all at the same time - you could manage to get most of it down. Shane and I often got into discussions about our FEAR to go to the bathroom. When you wake up at 6am, having to shit like you wouldn´t believe, we would lie in bed on the brink of tears...knowing that our sleepy morning would start off staring at last nights dinner. !Que malo! Anyways, on day 3 we started having serious problems and I had to call on Floro to flush for us more times than I´d care to share. One time I left a nice note on the toilet (he cleans the rooms while we were on excursions), other times I cried and apologized, and sometimes I just laughed hysterically because really...who knew that poo could be so stressful!! Shit! Literally...shit! Pat and I laughed about it every morning as we battled the toilet, clenching our sides and gasping for air as we laughed about how frustrating and funny and totally gross our situation was. And every day that we left, having left a present for Floro to clean up, we were worried that he wouldn´t be able to look at us the same...but everytime upon our arrival back, we entered our room to beautifully folded towels! (side note- floro didnt fold anyone elses towels...just ours. and not only did he fold them, but they were folded into swans, hearts, manta rays, snakes and more!).
Peter...and his several ATTACKS
We were in town, killing some time and all of the sudden here comes Peter, covered in blood!! He cries that he was attacked by a tree, and though Pat, Shane and I love him dearly we all could not control our hysterical laughter. No good deed goes unpunished, and when Peter ran to retrieve a stray volleyball from the game going on at the courts, he ran face first into a vicious tree!! He´s lucky that he didn´t break his nose or break his teeth, and even more lucky that his bestest bud and bunk mate is a doctor. When we got back to the boat Shane began nursing him back to health. He gave him ibprofuen, and set up a cleaning station...hot water, salt, and neosporin cream. He cleaned out the inside of his lip, cleaned up his nose and nursed the wounds. Poor Peter...battered and bruised and bloody, though he still managed to choke down two plates of food for dinner.
Attack Number 2. Despite his face, Peter accompanied me snorkeling in Libera (no one else would go in because it was too cold). We saw several turtles and a couple seals. Well, it´s mating season in the Galapagos, and the male sea lions are very aggressive. As we were getting out of the water, the male sea lion on the beach became very aggitated and then quick as lightening he jetted into the water and bit Peters ass!! It all happened so quickly, and once again - knowing that he was alive - the 3 of us laughed til we cried. Peter, the big German in his tiny speedo, bitten in the arse by a sea lion. What are the fucking odds. Once again, upon our return to the ship, Doctor Shane busted out his tools and cleaned up Peters buttocks. We have pictures to prove it.
Unfortunately traveling through the Galapagos with a tour guide is a little like being on a field trip in preschool. Over supervised and completely obnoxious. Well, we finally see a Blue Footed Booby and Peter dashes into the water so he can get a closer view and some good photos. Our guide is having a heartattack because Peter is in knee deep water and he may ¨cut his foot on a rock¨...mind you, Peter is 32 years old and has traveled the world 5 times over. She was calling for him the way that a kindergarten teacher scolds a child. Peter held strong though and trekked on to get some amazing photos. While we were walking away the guide said ¨Well, he´s been attacked by a tree and a sea lion, anything is possible with that boy.¨ Hahahahaha. Oh peter.
Our Final Days
Our last two days aboard the Sulidae were the best. We got EIGHT new people on board, most of them rather dry, but we got two AMAZING people, Walter and Ellen. Walt and Ellen have lived on their sailboat for 14 years now, traveling the world...they are amazing people with amazing stories, and hopefully they will be sailing into Costa Rica sometime this winter for a visit. The 4 of us became quick friends with them and the laughs continued. The two final days were in San Cristobal, the best of the islands. We had sunshine for TWO WHOLE DAYS, a nice alternative to the drab weather we´d been having. Also, we got lots of water time. We snorkeled at some amazing spots...with sharks, turtles, manta rays, and more seal lions. Peter wasn´t attacked and all was well in the water world. We had some time in town so we rented bikes, and within 5 minutes we stopped at the bakery for some pastries and cold milk. In town on the beach were all the mothers and their little babies...so we saw them nursing, which was precious. At night we took the panga back into town with Floro. We were the only people in the bar, but played some pool and drank lots of beer.
The 4 of us left Saturday morning, and the guide was glad to see us go. I think she was more used to old, rich ¨bird watchers¨who didnt want to wade through rocky water to take photos, and who relied on a strict schedule. We laughed all the way back to Quito, where Pat and decided to forgo Otavalo and spend the rest of the day with the boys. We checked back into Secret Garden, my FAVORITE hostal, and then we all met up at Peters´friends home thats just here in town. We had some drinks, went out for some pizza, then had a sad goodbye. Two wonderful gentlemen, whom I feel VERY blessed to have met. Pat and I are already planning our trip to Venezuela this January to visit Peter. Pat went right to bed after dinner, and though that was my plan, my friends at Secret Garden felt otherwise. I played some music and then Ravi and Mindy twisted my arm into loading onto the party bus to new town to go salsa dancing. I had a BLAST dancing, though I will say I´m just not crazy about ¨structured dancing¨ such as salsa. Came home, did some yoga in the computer room with Ravi at around 2am, and then slept til NINE the next morning. I love Ecuador.
Pat and I are now at Secret Garden and ready to leave town tomorrow. Tonight is some world domination card competitions, music and maybe some yoga. Tomorrow night is beers back in Esterillos Oeste with the fam. Pura Vida.