What the Pacific Ocean and the Guyanese Jungle Have in Common

September 20, 2007
Day 722

Besides going on a Galapagos cruise, tourists also have the option of visiting some of the islands independently. I wasn't quite ready to fly back to the mainland yet, so I opted to check out San Cristobal Island, which is the provincial capital of the Galapagos.

The lack of organization for loading passengers onto their boats was frustrating. About thirty people were waiting on the jetty to disembark, but nobody seemed to know which boat was going where and who was supposed to board it. Once I finally was loaded with about fifteen others onto a small boat that I was pretty sure was going to the right place, we got delayed for some bureaucratic reason. I think the captain didn't want to take off because the passenger registrar wasn't complete, but he finally agreed to leave after an hour because the passengers were persistent and getting more aggressive with their shouting. And somehow I thought I could temporarily escape the Third World nonsense that I normally had to deal with by spending some time on the Galapagos.

We may not have moved for a long time, but the 400 HP that was packed into the boat's outboard engines got us flying across the ocean in no time. The ride was pretty bumpy, so I couldn't understand why people kept heading to the bathroom one after another. Wouldn't it have been much easier to go before we left? Then as I looked at the horizon dancing up and down to a rapid beat, I understood: half the boat was lining up to vomit from seasickness.

I didn't want to become a sympathy puker, so I stood up in front of the boat, held onto the door of the cargo hold, and looked at the island we were approaching. As I was getting thrown up (pardon the pun) and down, I realized that the sensation was almost identical to that of hitchhiking in the back of a Bedford military truck through the jungles of Guyana. The only difference was that this time when I got to my destination, I didn't have to shower three times to remove all of the mud that had become caked to my face. Also, I didn't get hijacked this time.

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