“Desolate”, “infernal”, “worthless”… not something you’d thumbs up on trip advisor. Yes, that’s how it used to be when you visited the Galapagos. You would really look through your dictionary for the most negative adjectives in there.
It is amazing to think that what tourism polls today consider one of the world’s top travel destination was once seen with disdain and horror. Legend has it that the marine iguanas found along many of the Galapagos Islands’ shores were thought to be fierce monsters, and the tortoises that we now care for and love, viewed only as food for survival.
Reaching the Galapagos Islands must have felt like going way past the limits of adventure. Here, and the literature of the time supports the thought, there was absolutely nothing to behold. As the animals came out of the volcanic “woodwork” to meet their visitors, these visitors couldn’t wait to get back on the boat. And by boat, we don’t mean your usual luxury Galapagos holiday cruise.
Our sense of admiration, marvel and respect for the Galapagos Islands, a place that today is undoubtedly one of the most admired, marveled at and respected travel sites on this Earth, is testimony to our own evolution. An evolution in human thought that has allowed us to see wonder in desolation and a sense of commitment in what was once complete indifference, perhaps even disgust.
As you take the Galapagos Islands in, as you wander along the beaches, as your Galapagos holiday cruise ship anchors on the crystalline seashores, as you look, and look, and look into the eyes of these fabulous creatures, think that human beings like yourself once found it all a wasteland. In this modern world, however, the Galapagos Islands is quite the opposite. A place that gives us hope, that fills our daily visitors with inexplicable joy and wonder, a place where every footprint is a reminder of our need to save our natural world. Not waste it!