Category: Galapagos Islands

The Calm at the Center of the World

Traveling close to the equator can mean only one thing: Neptune, King of the Seas, is about to appear. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Crossing the Equator in Ecuador On the list of things I am excited about when contemplating my trip to the Galapagos Islands, crossing the equator is not an entry. What is there really to trill about when passing over an…

The Mystery of Volcanoes

The blue-green hue at the edge of the Poas Volcano in Costa Rica. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Lure of Hot Lava Living in New York State, as I do, I haven’t historically had to worry much about volcanoes and the possibility that they might at some point obstruct my way, or worse. The first time I…

Roughing It in the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Relocating Isn’t Quite the Same as Vacationing No matter where I go, I always try to picture myself living in that place, like by Hemingway’s pool in Key West, Fla., or with a little apartment by the Blue Lagoon in…

The Bright Side of Death

I’ve never really understood the American method of mourning, kicking off with a somber viewing followed by an even more somber funeral. Let’s all wear our sad faces along with the black. This approach seems so incongruous to me given…

Galapagos Graffiti: Who Would Mark Up Paradise?

As much as I enjoy some visually gratifying graffiti in urban areas, seeing it in the Galapagos islands is a little jarring. I understand there’s tension here that tourists do not necessarily see—pressure to fish, to provide jobs, to keep…

Traveling to Remember

Sitting at an outdoor café three blocks from the Rome Termini one morning 24 years ago waiting for my friend Julie to arrive, I had no appreciation of the folly of our planning. In the days before cell phones, all…

Is Ecuador Full of New Yorkers?

Kicker Rock in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

The Youthful Adventurer and I hadn’t even boarded the first plane on our journey to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador when I began to wonder whether I was heading to a tourist trap populated by visitors from the tri-state area.…

Even Non-Birders Can Enjoy Galapagos

In Galapagos, the animals aren't afraid of humans. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

I didn’t head to Ecuador to be at one with the birds. I’ve never been especially drawn to the things. I didn’t appreciate the claws on the parrots at Parrot Jungle. My grandmother’s caged parakeets—still singing despite their incarceration—annoyed me.…

Cruise Ships: Where Smaller Is Better

Cruising always promised glamour and excitement for me. My grandmother, tired of being married and with an empty nest, ran away, not to join the circus, but to sign on with a cruise line. I have yellowed postcards from her…

Never Be the Slow Zebra

The Youthful Adventurer and I were snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands when we saw the shark. He kept swimming; we kept swimming. It was exciting to see one and good that he was a distance from us and that the…