As I continue the review of this past year I am struck by the realization that my journeys have not only taken me to new countries and pushed me at times outside my comfort zone – but also that they represent the four elements of western culture: earth, water, air and fire (a little license taken here, if you will oblige me). Last week I reviewed journeys on land and on the water – today let’s go a little deeper and a little higher.
SWIMMING WITH THE FISHES – Unlike Luca Brasi in “The Godfather” my experience was thrilling and life-affirming through a couple of snorkel excursions in the waters surrounding the Galápagos Islands.
The first dive, although fun was short on creature sightings:
Coral, plants, anemones and a few little fishies:
The second dive proved more successful as we swam with local sea turtles:
Fellow Traveler Mike Cruz had the strongest affinity with the turtles:
We hit the jackpot on the third dive – incredibly large, dangerous yet beautiful eagle rays and sand sharks:
HIKING UP 4500 FEET TO A SLEEPING GIANT – Isabella Island was created, in part by the violent lava spewing of the Sierra Negro Volcano, now 500,000 years old (“fire” element). It’s the second largest volcano in the world and worth the grueling and difficult hike to get to the rim of its caldera. A caldera is a massive depression that forms when the ground collapses into the volcano’s magma chamber after the lava erupts. The Sierra Negro’s caldera is over six miles in diameter and over time has been surrounded by lush vegetation. The view is breathtaking and humbling:
And in the grand finale, even the heavens provided a view of the aurora borealis (on the journey home from Vietnam) that hammered home the notion that we are mere mortals, much blessed to have all this abundance for us to revere. We have the responsibility to protect and preserve these gems,
Writing this “journal” along with my photographic exploits has brought me deep satisfaction. I have learned not only so much about the world we live in but also about myself. New discoveries and experiences await and I hope you will continue to follow my physical and spiritual journeys in the years to come.