International Writers Magazine: Ecuador
in dust and pouring out sweat, I trudged along the sultry gravel
road beneath my feet. For various minutes, I pressed on, walking
a tightrope on the dirt shoulder, constantly in fear of getting
rammed off the island by one of the several silver pickups that
almost grazed my left side each time they furiously passed. My scary
stroll continued this way until a string of large, white letters
finally caught my eye.
a Tijeretas," the metal marker indicated.
Investigating the leafy opening next to this green highway sign,
I saw a rugged path, engulfed by various trees, shrubs, and vines.
I knew that my sandals werent the ideal footwear for this
craggy walkway, but I refused to go back to the sand and resume
watching the water with my girlfriend, Amanda. Therefore, I took
one step onto the petrous, rust-colored trail and was immediately
swallowed by the brush.
As I zigzagged my
way over the dimpled and jagged rocks, I was amazed by the varied vegetation
that overwhelmed my route. A plethora of different-sized bushes and
trees, all showing different shades of green, swamped my walk. In addition,
I was really impressed by the tall, thick cactuses that dotted the rocky,
yet lush hillside. The prickly plants shot up everywhere I looked.
With perspiration running down my face, I eventually came upon a clearing,
which overlooked a red and white pharos resting on a charcoal shore.
Even though the beach was ugly, the far-reaching, dark blue Pacific
that surrounded the lighthouses peninsula was magnificent. Moreover,
I was refreshed by the cool breeze that came off the water and flowed
into my vantage point. It was a nice break from the trail.
the trees, I pulled my Twins baseball cap down as far as I could
to block the intense sun, which somehow managed to redden my face
through the branches overhead. Upward bound, I continued ascending
the ridged terrain, pursuing views similar to the one I had just
witnessed. The next lookout, however, was nothing like the previous.
Snaking its way back to the cliffs edge, the path led me to
cannon. Strangely stationed, this large weapon looked like it should
have been on a battleships deck, not poking its way through
a green hillside in the Galápagos.
Mounted on a rotating
base, this decaying artillery gun was aimed towards the big drink. I
was undoubtedly puzzled by this barrels placement and, consequently,
read a nearby plaque to clear up my confusion. In truth, I learned that
the Ecuadorian Navy lugged the cannon to this post for military practices
during the 1970s. The weapon was well out of commission nonetheless;
its use dying out with disco.
With my curiosity satisfied, I turned around and noticed a wooden deck
protruding from a distant hilltop. That remote viewpoint was my goal,
but it seemed unreachable at the moment. Thirsty and tiring fast, all
I saw was the forest that dominated the foreground of the far off hill.
And although I absolutely hated backtracking, I definitely needed my
tennis shoes as well as a second wind. I also thought Amanda should
see the view and, therefore, decided to double back
Retracing my steps out of Frigatebird Trail, I walked many minutes back
down the dusty road to find my porcelain-skinned girlfriend taking pictures
of her feet at Playa Mann, a miniscule beach just north of Puerto Baquerizo
Moreno (capital of the Galápagos Islands). It wasnt hard
to tell that Amanda was bored, so I asked her to join me for round two.
Quickly accepting, she then returned with me to our nearby cabin to
gear up for the next venture into San Cristóbals wilderness.
that I was already familiar with a portion of the pathway, Amanda
and I breezed by the two scenic overlooks I had stumbled upon earlier.
And as we hiked further into the highland, the two of us rapidly
emptied our water bottles due to the overbearing afternoon heat.
Despite our ever-increasing fatigue, my blue-eyed sidekick and I
nonetheless reached another lookout point, only to realize that
there was someone waiting. It was Mr. Charles Darwin himself.
Accompanied by large recreations of a tortoise, iguana, and sea
lion at his feet, the balding statue of the famous Englishman stood
a few meters tall. Holding a gigantic notebook against his stomach
with his left hand, the evolutionist looked like he was pondering
his next journal entry, raising a pen to the air with his other
paw. Still, the bay over which the renowned naturalist stood was
Skirted by gray
boulders and a light green forest, the huge, egg-shaped inlet had an
opening almost as wide as the top of its oval outline. Furthermore,
brown pelicans loitered around the silent sounds coarse cliffs
while a tiny tour boat quickly circled the haven and exited. I stared
at the relaxing teal waters far below and couldnt blame Charles
for taking notes in such a tranquil place.
Leaving Darwin in the dust, Amanda and I were determined to reach the
viewpoint that loomed high above the opposite end of the bay. With sweat
fogging my sunglasses and soaking my T-shirt, I subsequently marched
alongside Amanda until we ran into the bottom steps of a wooden staircase.
After glancing up at our prize, I then made eye contact with my strawberry-haired
companion. She was ready.
Legs burning all the way, the two of us ascended the endless planks
til we were almost out of breath. Finally, with hardly any energy
left, Amanda and I practically collapsed onto a dark brown platform.
We had reached the top.
At last, my girlfriend and I found out what made this location so
alluring. Not only could Amanda and I see San Cristóbals
beaches, bays, and bluffs, we were also rewarded with an excellent
view of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The two of us scanned the light-colored
city and observed its active harbor. In fact, we studied various
vessels, from mammoth cargo ships to small fishing boats, floating
throughout the turquoise inlet. It was fascinating to watch the
port in action.
Even more gratifying, though, was sharing this experience with Amanda.
Backtracking wasnt so bad after all.
© Tyrel Nelson
at the Bullring
outnumbered, wounded bulls entered the rowdy arena to be stabbed to death
by costumed men.
Hike in Girón
to the Tica, there was no reason to visit Girón. It was ugly, boring,
and a waste of time. And on every occurrence that I mentioned I might
visit the pueblo, my lanky, graying friend looked at me like I had completely
lost my mind.
on Santa Cruz
was good. I was recently reunited with my girlfriend, Amanda, who I hadnt
seen in over 5 months, and we were in a place that many people only get
to visit in their dreams.
the Chor-Princi Trail
The gloomy Sunday morning sky chilled our bones as my specs-donning
friend, Andrew, and I waited for our connection. The two of us were an
hour east of Cuenca.
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.