Last year I had the most amazing opportunity to take trip visiting South America with my Grandma. We found the perfect adventure which included a visit to the The Galápagos Islands with an extension to Peru, of course visiting the stunning Machu Picchu ruins. Naturally, the two of us went crazy with our cameras. I think I was able to edit my photos down to ONLY 5,000 images. I know, you must be thinking I am crazy about now! There were so many amazing opportunities for photography; from the scenery to the wild life I just couldn’t put my camera down for a second. I loved both destinations for many different reasons and still can’t pick a favorite.
I am fascinated by history so I was naturally drawn to the ruins and beauty of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. It is one of the most famous examples of Inca architecture, located 350 meters above sea level in the jungle. The food in Peru, especially the bread and ceviche, was to die for. Each day I was just as excited about the food as I was the adventures that lie ahead. As an animal lover, I was also thrilled by the experience in the Galápagos. If you are not already aware, the Galápagos Islands are famous for their diverse and unique wildlife with everything from penguins to tortoises. The most fascinating part is that the Galápagos are full of wildlife with no natural predators, so the animals remain calm when tourists approach. I remember how odd the experience was when a guide first said to watch out for small lizards and iguanas so you don’t step on them. That didn’t fully hit me until I walked onto the lava and as soon as I placed my foot next to a tiny critter, it did nothing more than sit there and stare at me! It literally felt like being on another planet. I can hardly describe how fascinating it was.
As many of you may have recently learned the famed Galápagos tortoise Lonesome George, the last of his species, has died of natural causes. Sadly, when we went down to the Darwin Center, Lonesome George was having his space cleaned and was hiding in the back corner. After traveling all the way to Ecuador, the darn guy just had to play ‘hide & seek’ on our visit. We were lucky enough to see his shell (from far-far-away I must add) but I still feel very fortunate I was able to visit the Galápagos before his passing. For the one year anniversary of our trip, I put together a book to give my grandmother for her 75th birthday. I must say, for someone who just turned 75 she can sure out hike almost anyone half her age. She is the best travel buddy you could ask for!