There’s this family on the trip with us in our tour group. The familia Perez. It’s a couple, their father, their two daughters, the brother of the husband, and a son-in-law married to the older daughter. They’re from Ambato. Ther group was divided today such that the familia Perez and the familia Storm were together, and the children with their five chaperones were together. Veronica came with us. In a bus, we rode out to a private ranch, where we hiked around and saw some giant tortoises in their natural habitat, strolling around in the woods on the ranch. We briefly rode horses and then we hiked through a magma-formed tunnel.
In the afternoon, with the two groups reunited, we walked out to Tortuga Bay, a good surfing beach, but since we had so many kids with us, we hiked down the beach even farther to a big lagoon. It would be much safer than the turbulent waves on the main beach. We spent a lot of time fearing the sun. Eileen, Will, and I went swimming and discovered that I don’t float. Eileen and Will could pretty much just lay on their backs and remain at the surface. Not me.
After we’d been there a while, a launch showed up with a small family riding in it. One of the mothers in our group asked the driver of the launch how much he’d charge to take the kids out for a ride. Twelve dollars later, they were in the boat, getting a tour of the lagoon. When they came back, the Perez couple and their younger daughter invited us out on the boat, meaning they’d pay for us. We accepted and got a 15 minute ride out in the lagoon. We saw some sea turtles and some sting rays.
In the meantime, Ecuador’s national team beat Paraguay 5 – 2.
We went out again after dinner and ran into our WorldTeach friend Emily, who is in the Galapagos for the year. She accompanied us to the Santa Fe Grill and then Angie, Will, and Veronica went with her to another bar. They didn’t stay out too late. One of the other mothers, Angeline, joined them, and she and Veronica serenaded Angie and Will with both Spanish and English songs on the walk back to the hotel. Will and Angie went to bed; Veronica and Angeline found out something that would completely change the mood of the vacation for everyone.