We started our journey in California, USA but I had to fly to Georgia, USA and then Quito, Ecuador on my own because my passport still had my maiden name (Brewer) instead of my married name (Madison)! I eventually found Mr. Madison and our friend Mr. Bodeen in the airport and we headed into the city. Quito is full of many beautiful Catholic churches and Spanish architecture, and they have delicious empanadas, which are kind of like hot pockets. The hotels here only cost about $15 a night instead of $100 like they do in the United States, but they are not as nice. For example, our hostel in Quito didn´t have a shower head, it just had a pipe coming straight out of the bathroom wall! The toilet was also VERY close to the wall, unlike our nice roomy bathrooms in the United States!
From Quito, we flew to the Galapagos Islands, where they have a bunch of animals that are endemic to the island, which means that´s the only place they live in the entire world. I swam with dozens of colorful fish, basked in the sun with aquatic iguanas, and perched on a rocky ledge with blue footed booby birds. Unfortunately, I also got a wicked sunburn, which made biking around island a bit more difficult! I was also disappointed to see that no one on the island wears helmets when they ride their bikes, which is very dangerous. I always tell my students to wear helmets, because they have important brains to protect, and that´s the same reason I always wear a helmet when I ride my bike.
The beaches on the island were beautiful, and the water was nice and warm. We also went spelunking, or exploring in a long, dark cave. I ate grapefruit, oranges, bananas, and papaya fresh from the trees! The bananas in the Galapagos are kind of an orange color, and they are very sweet. We were very sad to leave the islands, but we still had a lot of traveling to do!