02.12.2013 - 02.12.2013
The rocking of the boat makes even a moment of stillness feel like vertigo. Nonetheless it is gentle, just a slight bobbing this close to the equator at the calm time of year. Yes, our cruise has begun. Our flight was not cancelled, not even delayed. We were not bumped, and sleeping in the airport was as comfortable as it can be to sleep in a public place when the lights and music are always on. So now we are in the place of odd landscapes and swimming iguanas and crimson crabs with pale, eggshell blue underbellies, white sand beaches and enormous prickly pear cacti, and acres of stunted, eerie trees, their leaves all down from the dry season. A small flock of flamingos survive here. I have seen too many photographs to be amazed by them, and yet they are amazing. Aside from their color, also the elaborately curved necks, the impossibly thin legs bent at the ankles out of the water. Their cries, too, were startling--harsh and unexpected in that silent landscape. We watched them for a while but were then distracted by a marine iguana scrabbling in the sand, nesting. We will see many here we are assured, but still the first marine iguana is like the first warthog--you are charmed and convinced in your heart that the moment is rare. So you take too many photos and you murmur and you walk away only very reluctantly.
It's the Galapagos, they say. There will be more.