Luck is often an essential part of a successful trip. If you know were to get some, I’d suggest you pack it in your most accessible backpack pocket – it, plus a bit of experience, and you are guaranteed to have a good time.
Pierre Constant – the adventurer extraordinaire and author of “Marine Life of the Galapagos” wasn’t very lucky, though it worked out just great for me and my husband. The Ecuadorian government didn’t approve his ambitious route around the Galapagos and several people dropped out of his expedition, leaving just enough room for wide-eyed us to jump on the opportunity to sail around the islands in a hundred year old ketch Sulidae whose black masts towered over every other vessel around making them look like cheap bathtub toys.
The Galapagos is a string of volcanic islands formed by eruptions that started millions of years ago at the intersections of a seemingly simple underwater grid and continue to this days. Every morning Sulidae brought us to a beach of a different color – green, black, red, one more surreal than the other with cold swirls of magma. Pretty much every inch of land here is covered with fascinating wildlife or peculiar plants that are uniquely adapted to their environment. The islands are a biologist’s dream going all the way back to Darwin. Animals here have nothing to fear and they don’t. Mother frigate set calm and proud even as my camera lens hung not but half an inch from her fuzzy chick, and curious baby sea lions waddled right up and tickled my feet with their whiskers sniffing my sandals. Giant tortoises roam meadows and pastures like prehistoric tanks, annoying farmers that have enough of their own island drama.
But not only there is an amazing diversity of life on the land, the cold waters around the islands hide its own treasures. Diving here is challenging with strong, freezing currents, but worth it. White-tip, black-tip, reef sharks and every imaginable ray magnificently glide through the blue and don’t hesitate to come close, again, unafraid. Only the hammerhead sharks I saw from a distance – a whole school blackened the sky above us, as we descended to thirty meters, only to break apart and let us watch in awe their slim silhouette in golden rays of sunlight.
Many believe that you have to be extraordinarily rich to see such beauty with your own eyes. I say, from experience, you don’t. The most rewarding and amazing adventures happen when one throws all cautions to the wind and is free to make their own adventure, overcoming and triumphing over every possible obstacle and difficulty as they arise. Luck comes to those who are not afraid to live life without it.