This weekend a little bus took us up to the highlands of San Cristobal. It was a clear day and we could see to the other end of the island from El Junco, a crater lake at 2,000ft above sea level. It’s the only freshwater lake on the Galápagos, and frigatebirds can be seen swooping over the water and rinsing the salt off their red throat pouches. There was a strong wind blowing, and as I stood on the edge of the crater I felt cold for the first time in months. The highlands are much greener on account of the clouds that tend to shroud them, and they’re quite cool in comparison to the coast, where the heat radiates off the basalt and would be positively stifling if it weren’t for the ocean breeze. This new climate (there were even fields of green grass!) and the goosebumps on my arms were a sudden and vivid reminder of home, and I found myself standing in perpetual summer and wishing for a New England spring. It’s nice having the sun around all the time, but there’s nothing like a long Maine winter to give you a new appreciation of it. At home my friends and family are watching the transition from snow to crocuses and daffodils with awe and glee, and their delight at the long-awaited return of the sun reminds me to appreciate its constancy down here where summer reigns all through the year.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Grace is a junior at Connecticut College with a major in botany. She grew up on the coast of Maine and looks forward to leaving its harsh winter for the equatorial Galapagos Islands. Grace’s interests include paleontology, backpacking, folk music, and fermented foods. Join her as she heads to Ecuador for the semester!</span></p>