Though now thoroughly enthralled by my solo traveller status, I had to face joining a group of 3 pairs of strangers: (1) The Professors, (2) The Teachers, and (3) The Vet and her Mom. A very early morning start kept the intros and chatter to a minimum as we made our way to the Galapagos Island of San Cristobal. Greeted by Pablo, who turned out to be one of the best guides EVER, a quick orientation (don't kill anything!), hotel check in and lovely lunch on the patio restaurant at Casa Opuntia we started to take in the incredibly blue-aquamarine waters of San Cristobal and the dominant Sea Lion residents. And then we were off to hike Frigate Hill to catch sight of the scalloped wings of these beautiful endemic birds, greet the stone embodiment of Darwin, and get our first taste of snorkeling with sea lions and pelicans in a small cove. I also forged a bond with Godo, our wavy-haired handsome local guide, who coaxed me through hikes whispering, Tranquila, Tranquila, to which Tammy would amplify with the phrase, Tequila, Tequila and thus I overcame my height anxiety through this prayerful call and response of Tranquila, Tequila and caught the expansive views of both Frigate Hill and the San Cristobal Highlands that we hiked the following day. (It also earned me the dubious honor of being nicknamed El Cormoran No Volador - the Flightless Cormorant, endemic to the Galapagos.)
We scurried down Frigate Hill to catch the beautiful sunset amidst the lounging sea lions and a few amorous couples.