Galapagos

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As of 21 June 2019, Summer has officially hit the country! Vacations are in progress, the sun is shining (or in Florida… hiding behind cumulonimbus clouds), and smiles are everywhere. With the kids out of school and the weather getting toasty, it’s no surprise that summer is the prime time for vacationers everywhere.

This past June, Colette Eddy, President of Aerial Innovations, made time for her very own tropical adventure. Her first stop? Guayaquil, Ecuador.

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They traveled from Guayaquil to Hacienda La Danesa, exploring a plantation full of history, food, and culture. Those involved were able to experience a farm-to-table experience, including the milk on the table.

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There, she learned to make a chocolate bar from scratch using cacao beans. She learned the history of the process of the cacao. It was a very intricate process, resulting in some pretty yummy bars of chocolate!

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Leaving Hacienda La Danesa, Colette and her crewmates departed from Quito to Baltra Island, a small, flat island off the Galapagos Islands.

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From here, Colette boarded a small boat—called a pangas—and proceeded to explore the island. Later in the day, the crew met giant tortoises in the Highlands Nature Reserve on Santa Cruz Islanhd. These slow-moving creatures are actually the inspiration for the island’s name at Tortuga Bay.

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This is one of the few places that tourists may visit these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. To maintain their numbers, park rangers actually hunt predators to the tortoise and fortify walls to protect certain areas.

These tortoises can live up to 150-200 years and can way up to 661 lbs! These completely wild creatures are perfect candidates for photos, because they’re too slow to escape a photoshoot!

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The trip was an interesting exploration of the East side of the Galapagos. Colette actually met a young group of agricultural students who had a heightened passion for the farmland, agriculture, and introducing women to farmland culture. Since visiting seventeen years ago, the group has done great efforts in conservation. Their only concern was the increased numbers of vessels allowed on the island.

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Sarah Marie Adamson