In the past few weeks I have had serious doubts as to whether I was going to be able to make this trip! I planned to come to Ecuador over a year ago with a scientific team and volunteers from Marine Megafauna Foundation, to help identify and conserve Manta Rays at Isla de la Plata, the Island of Silver. Also known as “the poor man’s Galapagos”. I tried to go to Komodo last January with the group, the Ray of Hope Expeditions, but last September my husband went into a shocking respiratory failure and ended up with a double lung transplant. I know, I still can’t believe it myself, but here we are, a year later, and Randy is doing very, very well! Well enough for me to travel. So why did I think I might not get here?
Well. I went to Cozumel, Mexico in August and came home with Dengue Fever. My advice? Stay away from mosquitos who carry the virus. It is well nicknamed, “breakbone fever”. And yes, one feels like one’s bones are BREAKING. So painful. I ended up missing my daughter’s engagement gathering. I can’t even stand to think about that.
Then, off to Florida to help out with relatives who are having issues. I came home, ready to prepare for my fabulous trip….and ended up in the Emergency Room on August 28 with a kidney stone! Luckily it was not my appendix. THAT would have really sucked. So, I’ve been feeling a bit weak and worried about another stone. However, I feel fine, and I decided to just get on the damned plane. So I did. And here I am. Looking around on the plane I couldn’t help but notice I was a rare commodity…a woman traveling alone. I rode to the hotel with a group of men from Argentina, all of them staring at me. I’ve traveled alone all over the world….and have yet to find other women traveling alone! Does anyone else get out and go on their own??
I haven’t even seen Guayaquil ( the largest city in Ecuador and a World Heritage Site ) yet as I arrived in the dark, at night. So, tomorrow I see the city and drive 4 hours to Puerto Lopez to prepare for diving over the next two weeks. Can’t wait! I will be posting as I go!
Buenos Noches, mi amigas!