Punta Carola

I find myself here, reflecting. As ongoing bursts of sharp wind bite and whip at our hair with a Great White's ferocity and the ocean makes haste to greet the light sand and wash over the black rocks, a sea lion begins to snore.

Our task, they say, is to have an adventure. We are in the Galapagos Islands, for heaven's sake! We set out, the four of us, with the childish spirit that is rare among sluggish, hormonal teenagers, but a common occurrence with us TGS-ers. To have an adventure is to surpass the normal, take the wrong path and led the Fates guide you to whatever mischief and excitement you may find. And so we did. Past Gaius, El Universidad, past the usual beach we flock on, and down a dirt road.

It catches my eye before we've even gone through all the lush greens and stepped off the stone mosaic path.

"No, hair stay!" Whining and bawling, my brother would be dragged into the barber's shop, once a month. He would pull his black locks and dig his heels into the ground defiantly. 'Temper tantrum' would be the understatement of the century. Seeing those steel stems of scissors near his beloved hair, he would open his mouth and scream. Wide-eyed, a five-year old Hannah would watch in awe, standing beside a metal pole with streamers of red and white encircling it. She would stare, hypnotized, until the scarlet and pearl tones would whirl and blend into one.

Galápagos: Punta Carola

I blinked out of my trance, startled at the memory. We start towards the tower, wincing as the sharp rocks provoke our bare feet. Slowly we stop, bumping into each other as we laugh nervously. Lying at the doorstep is a large lump of blubber, a massive sea lion. Clutching our packs, our hands busy, tangled with a puzzle of Havainas and sandals, we tiptoe towards the beast.

Once safely inside and running up the creaking stairs, we look at each other and begin to laugh. Despite the peeling paint, the cracks and graffiti, we are happy. We put our hands together in a pact, the cheesy kind you may often find at summer camps. But we pour our hearts into this promise, a vow to never forget this day, always treasure the memory of these weeks and to forever remain friends.

Altogether in this lighthouse, a picturesque scene straight off a Pixar film, we sit, laugh and maybe even cry. Gawa makes a face, Becca throws her head back and roars with hearty laughter. Maya smiles wide, showing off her two fangs. And I stop to think, 'Wow. Here I am, with three girls I've known for three weeks and love like three sisters. How lucky am I!' Our hair, musky with the oceans's scent, blends together, the effervescent blend of ebony and ivory, Snow White and Rapunzel.

As we make our way back home, we notice a sign. This shore is Punta Carola, or Love Beach.