This was our last day to explore the islands. The trip had started off feeling like it was going slow and then a few of the days just flew by and suddenly we were on our last day. We had bonded so much as a group. It had been such an amazing time together on the islands. I was going to miss this Galapagos Islands family and our home away from home at Semilla Verde.
We were up early for a yoga class at 6am. Sun Salutations and meditation. It's amazing how just doing fifteen minutes of sun salutations and a fifteen minute meditation can change the rest of your day. If you don't have time for a full practice this alone can be enough.
We had breakfast at Semilla Verde and then waited for the bus to take us on our last excursion. The dogs were out playing. The cat was wandering around. A couple of turtles were already eating nearby on the lawn.
We headed to Porto Ayora to board the Sea Finch. We had been catching the Sea Finch at the port near Baltra Island all week. This was a new pickup. At Porto Ayora we had a few extra minutes to do some shopping and wander around, as the owner of the Sea Finch organized our departure.
Our mood on this last day was very relaxed. The day off on Thursday had been needed. We were also all sensing that the trip was coming to a close too, maybe enjoying these last few moments together in an extra special way, knowing we were all headed in different directions the next day. And we had all become so comfortable with each other.
It was a 2hr voyage to South Plaza Island. The voyage was nice. The Sea Finch felt comfortable, familiar. Steve was our guide again.
While I was sitting with Rosa Chen and Olivier, our legs hanging overboard, on one side of the boat, suddenly there were shouts from the bow. There were Manta Rays doing flips over the waves that were being made from the wake of the boat.
We stood up and gathered at the front of the boat, scanning the ocean, hoping to see more action. Jaro Snopek captured some of it on video. Twice more we got to see the Manta Rays shooting out of the ocean and doing back flips in the air. It was pretty amazing to see these giant square shaped creatures launch themselves out of the water. We asked Steve what the reasoning was behind their behavior and he said they didn't really know the reason but probably they did it just for fun.
When we arrived at South Plaza Island we were greeted by a number of sea lions. They had claimed our landing dock as their own. There were so many of them and they were really friendly and not afraid of us at all. The bulls kept swimming around and loudly honking and letting everyone know of our arrival. There were several moms with their babies.
The views on South Plaza Island were incredible! The water was such a rich and deep blue color. There was this red plant growing on the island that created such a contrast of color between the blue of the ocean and the sky. We got some great pictures. It was so beautiful!
After lunch on the Sea Finch, we headed out to go snorkeling. The snorkeling was great! We saw two white tipped sharks, lots of different fish and a couple of sea turtles. It was much warmer than our snorkeling adventure on Bartolome Island.
After snorkeling, we headed back to Semilla Verde. I led the students through our last challenging asana practice together before dinner. The last two days of the retreat I had been incorporating a little extra partner yoga into each of the classes. Everyone was getting really familiar with each other. We really did feel like a big yoga family.
Our night ended with a wonderful dinner at Semilla Verde and then our closing ceremony.
At the closing ceremony, we had a sharing circle and dismantled the alter we had created together. Yoga teaches us that there is always a beginning, middle, and end to everything. And then the process begins all over again. We open and then we close. We begin something and then it ends and we begin all over again. This journey was coming to an end but we were also all beginning a new journey. Some of us were heading back home and others on to new destinations. I think we all were changed by this experience. It was definitely a once in a lifetime trip!
I will miss our group and the energy we created together in the Galapagos but I think a big part of it will be with me for some time. Such a special trip.