Saturday 10 February 2024

Galapagos journals Day 12

Dear diary,

Today we went cycling to the Wall of Tears.  Cheerful name, isn't it! Apparently, it was built by prisoners when Isabela was an infamous penal colony. Basically, these were prisoners from the mainland who had been brought over to the island so they couldn't escape.  As well as that, they had to build a huge horrible wall, that served no reason. Well, they had committed crimes, but were mostly political prisoners or delinquents so small ones (pickpocketing and stealing food) but the wall didn't even serve a purpose, it was just pointless labour! I mean honestly, sometimes I think humans are just designed to be mean to other humans. It's like we are here to use our power against people who are less powerful than us in a cycle that never ends. I wish we could all just pull ourselves together so that we could actually do something useful and kind for the humankind and our planet. 😔😡 Sorry for the gloominess. 

The Wall of Tears was thick, around two-three meters wide, and at its highest point about six meters tall! I can't imagine trying to carry one of those rocks and I felt really sorry for the prisoners! 

After that, Ismene saw a sign saying 'Don't pass! Place to hunt invasive species: cows, pigs, goats and rabbits'. She felt that this is not right and that people should not be killing all these animals. Dan and Ioanna explained how difficult it is for all the endemic, Galapagonian animals when invasive, introduced species come into the island and destroy existing animals and plants. It's a difficult concept but she understood why it's done.

It was an extremely hot day and we could barely walk another step or riding back down to a beach but, once we got there, we were rewarded with an amazing encounter while swimming because we actually swam with penguins! We were just playing in the waves when two penguins swam towards us chasing a fish. One of them looked at us and started calling and we called back at it until it got confused and swam away.  I could never in my wildest dreams thought I would be swimming and seeing all this amazing wildlife!

And to finish today's post, I have a little fun fact for you from Ismene: 

What is more dangerous: sharks or coconuts?

Please give an answer in the Comments section. The right answer will be revealed in the next post!


  1. Is this a trick question? I’m going to say coconuts! Fleur x

  2. Gosh a very tough day. There is plenty we can do. Everything is designed to pick us off individually so we feel unable to make change but together we are a force to be reckoned with. We need to hold that in our heads even when things seem impossible. But you are so right, what happens to humans when they are driven by such power.

    I am with Ismene on the animal welfare issue but I can hear Ioanna and Dan's arguement. But surely domestic animals don't count e.g. cows etc?

    What a glorious way to end the day. Penguins are so special. I have swum with penguins in SA but that was a long time ago and it's no longer possible unless they were to leave their colony. It is all protected now as there were cruel, vile people hurting them. Just beggars belief.

    I am also going to say coconuts as it feels like a trick question but I cannot fathom the answer. Possibly something to do with coconuts falling on your head?