Evacuation

Trip Start Feb 03, 2011
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19
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Trip End Jul 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
La laguna, Isla Isabella

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Friday, March 11, 2011

As I´ve posted before, we were evacuated to the mountains (well, 600 meters at least). After I posted my blog, Joseph (manager of our hotel), told us we needed to pack our stuff because we had to leave around 10 to beat the crowd on the road. We rushed to our room and started packing like maniacs, not knowing how long we´d be up there or whether our bags, or the hotel for that matter, would still be there when we got back. Our backpacks were left in the dining room on the second floor of our hotel and Tristan and I (and 3 others) hopped into a truck filled with raw chickens and fish. Joseph drove us all the way up to the house of the owner of our hotel and tourcompany. There were about 80 people there in total (with a big group of Slovenians). There were people everywhere. People sleeping on the beds, hanging out on the patio and sitting outside. 
They were expecting the tsunami around 5.30 pm and because we had lots of hours to kill, Tristan and I decided to go for a walk. We walked passed a papaya farm and I really love the papaya here. Entonces, I walked up to the house and asked if I could buy one. The girl didn´t even blink and just said: ´´Sure´´, picked up a stick and started walking towards the papaya trees. Her mom joined to help her and after a few minutes of trying, finally one fell out. I asked the mom how much she wanted for it and she replied: ´´No, nada.´´. She even washed it for us. Such a typical example of how the people are on this island. Very friendly and helpful. We ate the papaya immediately and it was awesome! Very juicy and my face was covered in orange pulp by the time I got done. When we got back we had lunch, they had prepared chicken and fish on the barbeque with yuca and rice. After that, we waited some more, watching the news every other hour or so. At some point the president was on giving a press conference. When 5:15 came, we all stood on the patio to watch the tsunami come in. We watched and watched, but even with binoculars I didn´t see anything. Joseph said the waves were high, but I couldn´t tell the difference.
We thought we´d be back at the hotel after about 1,5 hours after the tsunami hit the Galapagos, but no. We waited and waited and waited. A government official eventually came around 21:00 and told us they didn´t want chaos on the island and therefore they were taking people back in groups.
So we waited some more. After being stuck at a house with so many people for so many hours, you tend to get a bit silly. And we did get silly. We had some good laughs with our friend Steve (from Tasmania). He showed us this great Spanish- English translation book he´d bought in Panama. It had different themes like the supermarket, hospital, florist, etc. I don´t remember them all, I´ll give you a few examples which had us laughing. On the ´at the florist´ page in Spanish it said: ´Quiero un ramo de rosas´ and was translated into English as: ´I want a field of roses´. On the hospital page it said: Where is the andres room? (I´m guessing undress?). Or multa (in Spanish means ticket or fine) was translated into: ´It fines´. Another phrase in English we laughed about: ´She requests a desire.´
Hotel 12:30 am. Bed 1:45 am. Yes, it had been a long day, but our feet and backpacks were dry and we had a ball. No complaints here.
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