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9. Cerro Drago, Isla Guy Fawkes, Bahia Borrero

Roe Overturned. Contraception, same sex marriage next? Concealed guns OK.

sunny 72 °F

Day 9, Friday, June 24

Today’s agenda: Cerro Drago, Isla Guy Fawkes, Bahia Borrero.

First, something from two days ago. New friend Nadia took a video of Paul's sea lion snorkel encounter. Here is her cinematography starring, at the end at least, your friend Paul.

The first expedition offering of the day is a 90-minute Adventure Hike on what we were warned might be a muddy trail. The draw is to see some ground iguana and cactus. Since we just got our shoes cleaned from yesterday's tortoise tour, and since tomorrow is getaway day, we opt to have that time at leisure on our balcony sipping coffee. But, at this location is proof of what humans can accomplish. Cerro Dragon once hosted vast numbers of land iguanas but their numbers plummeted in the 1970s. A selection of these creatures was taken to breed in captivity and then released in more undeveloped environs. Now, they thrive here again. That's a good thing.

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The second expedition offering of the day is a 90-minute deep water snorkeling event described as "adventurous" and only for advanced snorkelers. Deciding that to be potentially beyond my capabilities, I opt out (B4 rejected that one out of hand). On Isla Guy Fawkes—actually a group of four islets—deep water surrounds the place. There are underwater cliffs populated by sponges, corals, urchins, sea stars and all the rest promising a callidoscope of color for our experienced snokelers. All that plant life draws millions of fish which, in turn, draw rays and sharks. But, from conversation with those who snorkeled, they saw precious little of that so I feel vindicated.

The third offering of the day is an 11:00am lecture: "Silent Battle: Galapagos Flora." Battling plants calls to mind the 1982 musical "Little Shop of Horrors." I saw the blood-drinking plant "Audrey" in New York before it became a hit on Broadway. It was a tiny show in a tiny theater, it opened Off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre in Manhattan's East Village in 1982.

But, at least attending this lecture that won't soil my newly clean footwear nor will it subject me to physical harm. So I plan to attend.

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But then, midmorning, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito interrupted my life. (Behind every ____ man is a _____ woman.) The Supreme Court of the United States of America today announced their 6-3 decision which overruled both Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey ignoring the concept of "stare decisis" which Thomas and Alito and the other four justices (Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and John Roberts) who joined them had promised and assured that they would most certainly honor and uphold. So much for promises made to United States Senators. It was just three weeks ago that Rep. Louie Gohmert griped that Republicans “can’t even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent or they’re coming after you.” Supreme Court Justices, it seems, may lie to the Senate with impunity.

But what's the next chapter. Thomas seems to feel that the right to same sex marriage and to contraception were also wrongly decided. Is the evangelical religious right the American Taliban? This is scary, folks. Others decide who you can love, who you can marry, if you must carry a pregnancy to term without exception. You get to decide if you want to hide a gun on your person. My head is spinning.

Back to The Galapagos. Further on still is Bahia Borrero, a bright white beach—a favorite place for Green Sea Turtles to nest after emerging from the beautiful turquoise water. Beyond that the land devolves into a forest of Palo Santo, Leather Leaf and Salty Bushes. Yellow Waringblers nest here amidst lots of Darwin Finches including the Common Cactus Finch and the Small Ground Finch. But we have a wrap-around balcony with comfy seats and a fabulous view--not to mention room service. Heading off for a wet landing on a beach with only a towel as furniture? Nope, we'll stay home.

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Some would say that makes the day a washout. Others, B4 and I among them, would say that this final day aboard Silver Origin is one of relaxing, packing up at leisure, enjoying one another's company and being thankful for what life has given us, one to the other, and the time and resources to maximize that amazing opportunity.

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We decided to host a pre-pre-dinner cocktail party on our balcony at 5:30 for a few new friends. Our butler, Joao, sets our space up beautifully. The amazing thing about Silversea is that everything is included in the "fare." That means all the hors-d'œuvre, all the Prosecco and all the extra service is gratis. He "borrowed" extra chairs from the empty suite one floor above us and generally went well beyond the call of duty. Hors-d'œuvre, in French, literally means "outside the work"; that is, "not part of the ordinary set of courses in a meal."

All our invitees, as those who know us will understand, mourned the aforementioned events of the day as we drowned our sorrows starboard aft.

After our soiree, on the Silver Origin schedule: Pre-Dinner cocktails are at 6:00, Galapagos Trivia at 6:15, Farewell Toast at 7:00, Destination & Debark Briefing at 7:10, Highlight Film at 7:20 and dinner at 7:30. We have taken up with what one might accurately label as the "liberal cabal" for dinner. Led by new "besties" Amanda and Nadia, the regulars include Lindsey and David, Jordan and Claudio and Mark and Michael with other discerning sophisticates joining when there is room. We are so fortunate to have fallen in with this gaggle.

Dinnertime has evolved into tables for ten or twelve. Multiple conversations range from what it was like to edit an Australian newspaper for Rupert Murdoch to the politics of professional beach tennis to lab diamonds to writing books to finding your second mate online to, of course, children. The weird thing is that--as is now the custom in the world--we somehow gravitated to couples of similar persuasions. If someone pointed out the similarity between the Giant Galapagos Tortoise and ET, two others would quickly point of the same similarity applies to Mitch McConnell.Mitch.jpegThen someone else had an opening to opine that conservation, er, conservatism, is not always a good thing.

779402b0-f481-11ec-8e13-5f789888ad18.jpgThis, our final night, imposes upon us in many ways. We must settle our bill no later than 10:00pm. Our "checked" luggage must be in the all outside our suite by 11:00pm. The crew will transfer all of that to the airport in San Cristobal and we will be reunited with it there.

Posted by paulej4 12:26 Archived in Ecuador

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