Problème d’Inéquation

Problème:

Pour imprimer des calendriers, Pauline va voir un imprimeur. Le tarif de l’imprimeur est le suivant : 250€ pour l’ensemble de la main d’œuvre (ce prix est fixe) et 1,50€ par calendrier.
Sachant qu’elle va revendre chaque calendrier 4€, combien doit-elle vendre de calendriers pour faire un bénéfice minimum de 50€ ?

Solution:

x = \mbox{calendriers vendus}

\mbox{Prix: } 250 + 1,5x

\mbox{Inequation: } 4x - (250 + 1.5x) \ge 50

4x - 250 - 1,5x \ge 50

2,5x - 250 \ge 50

2,5x \ge 50 + 250

2,5x \ge 300

x \ge \frac{300}{2,5}

x \ge 120

Pauline doit vendre au moins 120 calendriers pour faire un bénéfice minimum de 50€.

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Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt. 2

Contents for Taiwan/Hong Kong

  1. Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt.1
  2. Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt. 2

The next morning we had not heard the alarm, and my mother was almost late for the conference. This time, we did not go with her, nor did she go to breakfast, so we had a lazy morning. But we didn't laze around that long, we had a big day planned. We left by Taxi to get to a scooter rental. When we arrived, I was shocked to find that it looked more like a rundown garage. We arrived and starting talking in English, asking if we could rent, and the two guys who were there just nodded, and suddenly started shouting. We turned around and for the first time saw a third guy that was hidden behind a few scooters, taking a nap. He jumped awake, and when he saw us, went to their main 'desk'. According to their ad Dad had found online, they were supposed to speak English, but obviously not when the guy understood we wanted the scooter for one month rather than one day. But eventually we got everything done, and he showed us a bike to take, but it looked too small for two, and the next one seemed alright, although some of the foam was missing from the back seat and it looked very much used. But, hey, it worked and we didn't have problems, so...

We started our trip by simply driving straight, but eventually Dad pulled over to find the road to take us up into the mountains. I saw as the houses got more and more sparse, and soon enough we were on a traffic-less country road. We saw a big nice temple on the side of the road, and so stopped for a quick break. The scooter had become a bit uncomfortable after a while, and it felt good to stretch out the legs. We sat on bench nearby and just relaxed. While we relaxed, we noticed a dog just walking in the middle of the road, then curiously making its way towards us, coming within three meters, and settling down in the dust under the shade of a bush. It was in some way quite enthralling.

We got back on the road, and climbed higher and higher in the mountains. We stopped again at a viewpoint to take pictures and after just thirty seconds off of the scooter, the leather seats were already too hot to touch, it was that hot. It was very impressive (but also painful to get back on…).

The rain forests gave way to banana plantations, and to my father's despair, they were all way too green. We saw a few more dogs in the middle of the road, and a particular one was actually napping right on the center line. We arrived at a place called the Sun Moon Lake, and without knowing it we had arrived at a very popular tourist place, a must-see for Taiwan. We passed though the town, but didn't stay long, it was hard to maneuver around the big tourist buses in the narrow streets. We continued on and stopped at the Sun Moon Lake visitor center, which offered an overhead view of the lake. There was also a newlywed photography shoot going on. It somehow reminded me of the annoying pompous photographers that had no regard for others at the Sydney Opera House viewpoint wedding photoshoot.

View of the Sun Moon Lake from the visitor center. Do not confuse the lake with the flat pond right behind me.

The sky had gotten covered up, and so the heats weren't warmed up when we left, and in fact, I even feared it might rain. Luckily, my previous adventure in the Galapagos had thought me to always have a rain jacket, especially if going into forest environments. Dad had followed my advice and example. At this point, we were doing a big loop back towards Taichung, but on an expressway, and we stopped just before to put on our jackets when we felt a few drops. As soon as the jackets were donned, the droplets ceased. It was hot with the jackets. Very hot. And it was an expressway, so nowhere to stop just yet.

A dragonfly I managed to capture (on my camera...)

We did stop eventually, when we had reached a little town, and while taking a GPS/jacket break, we saw this guy on his scooter, happily riding along, an ice cream in his hand. He held the handlebar with one hand and licked his ice cream from time to time. Five minutes later we stopped at a 7/11 and got ice creams. We ate them before going back on the road, however. My pudding flavoured ice cream was very pudding-y. We headed back to the rental place, and when we arrived, we gave back our helmets, the keys and received our deposit back. No one checked the bike's condition, or even the tank for that matter. We got a taxi from there to take us back to the hotel, and since my mother had another conference included organised dinner, we went back to our cup(bowl, rather) noodles and tv movie.

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Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt.1

Contents for Taiwan/Hong Kong

  1. Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt.1
  2. Taiwan/Hong Kong – Pt. 2

The skyscraper is our hotel.

Just a day after returning from the Galapagos, I went on another adventure, although this time with my parents, and on the other side of the world. This new adventure was to Taiwan. Getting to Taiwan from Dublin takes a long time. A very long time. I used to love long flights because of the movies and the seemingly free food and snacks you get, but after Amsterdam-Quito, Quito-Amsterdam, Dublin-Dubai, Dubai-HongKong, KongKong-Dubai, and finally Dubai-Dublin, not to mention the flights I took that were under three hours, all in one month, it really takes it out of you. And although my parents didn't go to the Galapagos, the Taiwan flights were just as tiring for them.

But straight to the point, when we actually arrived in Taiwan, we had to take a shuttle bus to our stop, and then take a taxi to the hotel. The hotel was very fancy. It was chosen as the hotel for my mother's conference, and so we went with that one. The doors were opened for us, and our luggage was almost ripped from our hands. The room was spacious, with a great view over Taichung, and the bathroom had both a bath and a shower, not to mention the tv. We arrived sometime around midnight, so the first thing we did when in the room was go to sleep, as my mother had to attend the conference precisely eight hours from then. We got up with her, although it was hard, early the next morning and went to the breakfast buffet. It was huge, with a big selection of western and chinese dishes, as well as bread, fruit, omelets, cereals, danishes etc.

We ate a lot that morning.

The road we had to take.

When mom left for the conference, we took our time getting ready for our own day out. We planned to walk to a temple, and that had been the extent of our plans, but a lot happened on the way. First, about the weather. It's very hot in Taiwan, but's almost unbearable, with all the extra heat from the heavy pollution. The air is thick with humidity and pollution, making it rather hard to breathe. We followed the road that was indicated on my dad's phone, but decided something must be wrong when it brought us to a one way road of opposite traffic, with no visible sidewalk. We decided to take a turn before that, but before long we were walking along a sort of garage that had multiple dogs in front, and they all started to bark, some even growled. One or two weren't on leads… I began to get really nervous, and almost jumped when guy came up from behind us and said in broken english that straight ahead of us was a cul-de-sac. So back to the road we went. We walked on the sides of the road, marked on either side with a white line. I realise now that those must have been there to act as sidewalks.

Click to enlarge and chuckle.

So on we went until finally we reached the end of the one-way and arrived on the main road, or at least, at the city's center. The only types of shops I noticed were asian candy stores that somehow all had the same candy arrangements inside, and rundown garages. We walked on quite a bit and I started to ask if we were there yet. It was then that we found out were getting ourselves lost. While my dad tried to find the temple again on the map, I went inside a traditional snacks/café to enjoy the air conditioning. I acted like I was looking at the confectioneries, and she offered me a sample of cold tea, which I don't like, but was welcomed in the heat. Dad also came into the shop and he was offered the same thing. I proposed we ask her if she could point us to the temple, so we asked, but she didn't understand the word 'temple', so she took out a piece of paper and a pen, and Dad bravely drew something that looked nothing like anything, and the lady just shrugged, a universal way of saying "I have no idea what you want…". We thanked her anyway and went back out. We walked on and stopped in front of a 7/11, the main chain supermarket in Taiwan, and got two icecreams to cool us down. By the time we had finished the icecream, we had arrived in front of SOGO, which Dad knew to be a big department store.

We went in to cool down, and went level by level, skipping the occasional one like the baby floor. At the very top floor, even higher than the restaurants, was a big SEGA arcade, and we had fun there, looking at all the games. Some of them were weird, and you wonder whether people would actually play with them. To give an example, there was this one game that was quite simply a treadmill, with a plastic dog in front. The dog was on a lead, and from what you could see from the demo, the whole point was to walk the plastic dog.

There was also an over-18's section, where we saw a few people, and we assumed that must be a gambling area. One particular guy was playing at some sort of card game, but he was playing at three different screens at the same time, switching from one to the other. That's hardcore gambling…

Since we had arrived at the top, it made sense to go back down, and we both decided to head home. We had walked quite a long while, and we were both exhausted. We hailed a taxi and went back to the hotel. It was late in the afternoon when we got back, but it was too early for dinner, so we had a nice little nap. When we woke up we went to a 7/11 literally two minutes away from us and got ourselves pot noodles along with a few other snacks. Tv dinner!

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The Galapagos – Pt.12

As my OCD won't allow me to end my Galapagos series on the horrible odd number 11, I decided to post this montage as a separate thing. Below are bits and pieces of our snorkels in the Galapagos, all filmed by my Travel Companion on her GoPro. Just so you know, the funny looking person doing all the thumbs up is me. Bad habit, I guess?

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The Galapagos – Pt.11

The group in the lava tube, to give you an idea of proportion.

The morning started with the tough job of packing everything back into the suitcases, before going out in a bus to our last destination of the trip. First, we headed out to see a huge lava tube, like the one in the mountains on Isabella, only much much larger. It was a few kilometers long, but also very muddy inside, so we only went a few hundred meters in, just enough to admire its form. Unlike my previous encounter with a lava tube, I did not succumb to gravity.

The lava tube looked, to me, like some sort of man made grotto, with stalactites on the walls and moss only growing where the light sources were. As with the Lascaux cave, it was not really discovered by man, but by a wandering domesticated animal, in this case, a cow.

A female wild tortoise hiding from us. At least trying to.

We excited the tunnel and got back on the bus just as a huge monster of a truck arrived with a gigantic group of tourists, so talk about good timing! Our next place to visit was a national reserve that homed tortoises among other things. The cool thing about these tortoises was that they were wild, so we had to look for them, and if you approached too close they retreated into their shells and did that hissing noise. I heard the noise myself, and it's weird. It's almost like letting the air out roughly out of an air-pressurised container… I think?

We spotted two females, and a very large male that was disturbed by our presence and so decided to 'run' away. It must have been frustrating for him when we followed him and he didn't manage to lose us. He must have been in sixth gear, poor guy. We all took turns in approaching him slowly to get our photos, and then took a long walk, which I very much enjoyed, through the forest to get back to the bus. From there is was a straight line road to a pier from which we took a five minute ferry to Baltra Island.

Giant male tortoise

Baltra Island is a curious place. It is not a large island, and the only thing on it is a small airport. That is it. No towns, no homes, no nothing. So where do the people who work at the airport live you ask? On Santa Cruz I answer. They must take the ferry day and night. Speaking of ferries, the ferry was actually quite scary for me, because it was basically built of concrete, at least the roof was, and the inside was designed almost like a metro car. But the scary thing was the fact that our luggage was placed on the concrete roof and that was how it travelled. I kept expecting to see a big splash and lose some of our belongings to the 'fishes'. Nothing of the sort happened however.

Baltra Island Airport

As for when we had arrived, leaving was as effortless. We waited to be checked in and then went into the gate (no need to check which one, there's only one), and waited. Of course we said our goodbyes to our excellent guide Pablo. We boarded and My Travel Companion and I were seated with Rehana. Rehana and I had taken to playing cards at the airport, and we continued on the plane. We had quite a few heated battles. I'd say it was a draw, overall. (I actually completely lost…)

When we landed, we were greeted by another bus, only this one only took us to a hotel, and not tortoises. I was already missing the green scenery I had gotten used to as I was looking out at the streets of Quito. We got to the hotel and had our true farewell dinner early to accommodate those that had their returning flights later that night. We ate at a thai restaurant that had live music, and we all took turns saying which island we preferred, and what our favourite moment was.

As for me, I preferred Isabella, and my favourite part of the entire thing, was snorkeling and flipping in the water with the ever curious and playful sea lions. I'll miss everyone in the group, and I already miss the Galapagos scenery and fauna. Here's to never ending memories!

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The Galapagos – Pt.10

A prickle pear cactus

After our breakfast, we left straight away; our time on Isabella was over. The next and last island was Santa Cruz. The boat ride was about two hours long, like most of the other trips, however, this time, there were no whale, shark or even dolphin sightings. Zip. Most of the people snoozed, though. At our arrival, to save time, we did not go to our hotel, but rather straight to the Darwin Center.

The Darwin Center is a mix of things. It's a natural park, an interpretation center, and a base for researchers. We passed through the interpretation center where we learned about the wildlife of the Galapagos and a bit more about how it is preserved. We also saw Lonesome George, the most famous tortoise of the Galapagos.

A glimpse of Lonesome George

George is known to be the last of his subspecies, the Pinta Island Tortoise. He was discovered on Pinta Island after it was thought that they were all gone in 1971. He was brought for safe-keeping to the Charles Darwin Center and penned with two females of a different subspecies. He has been dubbed 'Lonesome' as for many years he did not even attempt to mate with the females. Researchers became desperate, with George's death the Pinta tortoises effectively become extinct. Many people were delighted when the females started hatching eggs, but thus far, none of the eggs survived or even hatched. There is a substantial reward for anyone who discovers a female Pinta, to ensure purebred descendants.

Just after the tortoises we saw land iguanas, who are brilliantly orange/red. We learned that for a while they had also been going down the wrong track and were in danger, so a plan to repopulate was put into action, but when the plan worked beyond expectations, all the iguanas were set back out into the wild except for three which were kept for the sake of showing visitors what they were like. They were the only land iguanas we saw, as we were not really in the right places for wild ones.

After the center, we went straight to lunch at a nice little pier front restaurant. Almost half of the group had gotten sick just like me, and so that's why some stayed in the Santa Cruz town, by far the most advanced and tourist-centered, while the others went on one last hike to a beach.

As for myself, I was not as healed as I had thought myself to be, and I had also noticed the beginnings of an infection in my latest wounds, so I also decided to stay. My Travel Companion went, however.

Restaurant where we had our lunch.

The first thing I did for my free afternoon was ask at the reception where I could find a pharmacy, and from there I had a nice stroll through quite a bit of the town, until I finally reached a pharmacy. I bought an antiseptic for my wounds and then was back on my way. I did a great loop and passed in front of all the souvenir shops that sell exactly the same things. I bought souvenirs there for me as well as for my family, and continued down along the pier road, trying to look for the one street that led to the hotel. I thought I spotted it and ended up doing a loop and ending back where I was. The bright side was that I then spotted Rehana, also on a shopping spree, who was as lost as myself. I didn't feel as hopeless. We walked on and that was when we spotted Denis and Gail sitting at a cafe. We asked them if they knew where the hotel was, and miraculously they did. Only then did I notice that the cafe they were at sold icecream. Mouth already watering, I ordered a double scoop pistachio and caramel in a cone. Setting out with souvenirs in one hand and an ice-cream in the other, I went on a glorious quest to the hotel. My journey was full of perilous dangers such as the dreadful Dripping Icecream, and not to mention the get-key-out-of-bag-and-open-door-without-dropping-icecream foe. But I arrived safe and sound, as did the icecream. I settled on the chairs on our hotel balcony and finished my cone while reading, just enjoying the warm air and the sunlight.

Once everyone was back from their trip, My Travel Companion and I went for a little shopping stroll before rendez-vousing for dinner. We trailed around until it was finally time to eat. It was then that we had our last dinner, at least, we treated it as such. Pablo gave a moving speech, we all talked about what we had seen so far, and of course we retold the fantastic tale of the whale shark.

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The Galapagos – Pt.9

Today was our last day on Isabella, the island that would become my favourite of them all. We started off with a morning of kayaking. We all got into a bus to head to the beach, but on the way, we stopped at a spot from which we could see pink flamingoes. Did You Know; Flamingoes only become pink as a result of a pigment found in their predominant food. If we dyed their algae blue, they would become blue. Perhaps we could create rainbow flamingoes…

The flamingoes were a bit too far, however, for photos, so we left soon after. We did not put on wetsuits for the kayaking as there were no plans of anyone capsizing. We were partnered up, my Travel Companion and I going together, and set out into the pier. We did a great loop during which we saw (yet again) sea lions, penguins, and various fish, as well as plenty of pelicans. My Travel Companion and I had a lot of trouble at first to coordinate, and the canoe's behaviour was very erratic. By the time we were rowing back to shore however, we managed to somehow synchronise. Funny enough, all of us had our shorts drenched by the end, and none of us had thought to bring a change, so we went straight to the tortoise breeding center in our wet attire.

penguin!

The breeding center was a very educational place, and it was great to see all the baby/teenage tortoises. They looked like they were separated in their pens by age, and in one particular group, it was very noticeable that tortoises do not give a fudge when it comes to moving forward. An obstacle in my way? Pffft! Just walk over it. So that's what they did, but with not traffic laws, the tortoises were literally climbing on top of each other to continue their straight-lined path.

We learned at the breeding center that tortoises are having a hard time growing adults, as all the babies are preyed on and eaten, so the breeding center focuses on building super mutant ninja adult tortoises that can survive on their own in the wild.

The breeding center ended with a boardwalk through wetlands, where we saw flamingoes at a closer distance, as well as strange crabs known as Violinist crabs who had one huge claw and one normal sized. There were also lots of marine iguanas just chillin', although a few were chillin' in the middle of the boardwalk, and walking around them was a bit awkward. But eventually we managed to cross all of them and arrived at the end of the boardwalk which brought us back into town. From there we walked back to the hotel, had lunch, and were given a 'free afternoon'. Some of us napped, some of us went to the beach, and some of us napped at the beach. Myself, I went to the beach, swam a little, enjoyed the sun from the shade, and after a quick power nap, went to the post office/souvenir/clothes shop to buy postcards and stamps for the grandparents. Three huge stamps for Europe.

After sending out the postcards, I went back to the beach to enjoy the sunset. We then met up at a bar on the beach for our dinner together, where Pablo joined us along with his wife and kid. We all talked and had an overall nice dinner, with the waves serenading us while the stars stared down at us in full.

That's some poetic writing there.

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The Galapagos – Pt.8

The next day I was feeling much better, almost healed even, and we all prepared to set out for a mountain hike. A truck picked us up and brought us to the beginning of the trail to the Sierra Negra Volcano. The initial trail was very steep, and made with a sort of gravel, and it was not overly nice to walk on it, especially with the direct sun and overwhelming heat. Every hundred meters or so we would stop to see a plant, or a bird, or something of the sort. While Pablo talked and gave us information, the rest of us used the opportunity to catch our breaths, drink water and from time to time reapply sunscreen. The scenery we saw on the trail was that of a very dense rainforest-like forest. The vegetation was tall enough to block the views around us, but not tall enough to offer shade or shelter from the sun. Along the way I was many butterflies, some yellow or white as seen most of the world, but others had magnificent colours and patterns.

I'm not joking, that was a part of the path.

At one point we went off the track and onto the Hiker's trail, to bring us around the border of the volcano caldera. The hiker's trail was little more and a strip on the ground made from too many feet walking there. I wondered why on earth the first person to start treading here would take such a path, because we often went very, very close to the caldera's edge, nothing below us but a flat lava wasteland.

When we actually reached the caldera, we took a break there, simply enjoying the view. We took many group photos, and had mishaps with camera timers. It was also there that Pablo told us that the volcano, still very much active, had it's last eruption in 2005. He recounted where he was when it erupted and how he made his way up the volcano to watch.

Click to enlarge

We continued on the trail, at which point we were on the caldera's edge, but at the same time, it looked like a Jurassic Park set with all this waist high ferns overgrowing on the trail, blocking your way. The butterflies were even more abundant in this part. The trail soon led away from the caldera and the vegetation got thinner again, more like the beginning of the track. We reached these benches under the shade of a great big tree, and it was much appreciated when we were allowed to rest a bit and have our packed lunches. Curious yellow warblers joined us. Do Not Feed The Birds.

Trish and Rehana very nicely shared their extra snacks with me on our bench, and I was coerced into doing the only bit of Irish dancing I remember from when I was nine. After the pleasantries were over, we got back on our way, and suddenly the vegetation by the side of the trail completely disappeared and we found ourselves in a lava field. We moved a bit further and could see a partially collapsed lava tube. Lava tubes are formed when lava is flowing and the lava on top cools and hardens while the lava underneath continues to flow, thus creating a tunnel. Liz (Miss Sally Lightfoot) got her picture at the opening of the mini tube and she inspired me to do the same. I added my own little twist, however, when I caught my foot on a rock and fell face first. It wasn't bad and I hadn't fallen from far. Had it been any other rock, I don't even think I would have had a bruise. But lava is sharp. I ended up with broken scabs on my hands, as when I braced myself for the fall, my still recovering hands' efforts were wasted. They had to start again. As well as the hands, I had a minor scratch above my ankle and a dent in my dent, where a little corner of rock had dug into the skin. Nobody was surprised really, I think most of them just shook their heads.

Me, proudly posing at one end of the lava tube, literally seconds before my downfall.

We continued on a little bit and arrived at the point where those who wanted to continues could, and those who wanted to go back to the tree could. Dennis, Gail, my Travel Companion and I decided to go back, while the others went on. We stayed a bit where we before leaving, messing around and taking pictures of ourselves while meditating on a lump of rock.

We reached the tree and chilled there a bit, but it wasn't long after that we headed back in direction of the truck, walking at an easy pace. The sky had become covered and it looked like it would rain any second. Many times we actually walked through low rain clouds, feeling droplets on our faces without any actually falling yet. It took a long time to reach the truck, but we eventually did, and Gail and Dennis settled inside to take a nap. I had brought a book in case, and I put it to good use while we waited about an hour for the others to come down.

Lava field.

When we were back at the town, it was very close to dinner time, but we still had time. I went to collect my laundry at the local laundrette and met up with most of the others who were enjoying the sunset on the beach. That night was a free dinner, so we all left together from the beach and found a restaurant. I, using the opportunity to have something else other than rice or spagetti, had a tomato soup, and predicting that that wouldn't be enough, a side order of fries. It was all very nice.

Little Factoid: Did you know that in the Galapagos/Ecuador, it is common practice to put plain popcorn into soup, say, instead of croutons? It is so brilliantly simple and delicious. Everyone should do it, just like everyone should put vinegar on their chips, and Mayo in their burgers.

 

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The Galapagos – Pt.7

Saying goodbye to marine iguanas at Floreana's pier

The second day on Floreana started with a trip to La Loberia, a gorgeous bay-like area filled with sea lions and turtles. We had walked a good bit, so we rested there quite a while, just soaking in the sun and enjoying the breeze. We didn't spend all morning there, however, as much as I would have wanted to, and we got back to the hotel where we got ready for another boat ride to another island; Isabella.

As with all the other boat rides, we stopped a few places where we saw even more blue footed boobies, frigate birds, and sea lions. We also stopped by Tortuga Island. Ring any bells? Pirates of the Caribbean, perhaps? 🙂

La Loberia

Indeed, we did stop by the pirate island, but I must say, it does not look practical enough for a town. After all, its named Tortuga after the Spanish 'turtle' precisely because it is shaped like a turtle's shell. Nor did I see any human life on it whatsoever.

But of course it doesn't have a pirate town on it. Pirates of the Caribbean, remember? Not the Galapagos. There's actually another island off the coast of Haiti called Tortuga, which is the island in the movie.

But anyway: we were continuing on our journey and still had Floreana in view when the captain spotted a whale ahead of us. We saw two mink whales, just swimming to whatever destination they had. The boat followed them for a while, but eventually we had to get to our destination too, so we left them. We went on for quite a while without any stops or notable sights apart from the vast ocean, the sick people sunbathing at the back of the boat, the comfortable ones making themselves comfortable in the cabin, under the shade. Some of us were even dozing off. I myself was of the dozing party, and I was shocked I suddenly heard shouting. I quickly looked up and saw Pablo and Heidi (a licensed diver) put on masks and flippers and jumping into the water. The talk of the others informed me that there was a whale shark underneath the boat, a rare thing to see. Amanda and Lina also went in, and without thinking, I pulled on my own mask and flippers and jumped in right after them. I saw the whale shark underneath me, with all it's spots, and swam hard and fast to catch up with the others and to keep the shark in view. It is a shark, mind you, not a whale. Otherwise it would be called a shark whale. But I learnt that these types of shark are relatively harmless, and as per the name, their diets consist of plankton rather than expendable blonde hot girls at beaches during spring break. The thing that fascinated me the most was the fact that all these tiny fishes (compared to the shark) were hitching rides on the whale shark. I'll never get that image of multicolour fishes going along with a gigantic blue and white spotted fish. Regretfully, during the panic, I did not have the reflex to take pictures, so I have no documentation of the whale shark. However, here is some footage Pablo took while underwater.

Lizard I spotted.

So to summarize: blue footed boobies, frigates, sea lions, green sea turtles, mink whales, and a whale shark. All before lunchtime. Nothing else happened after the whale shark excitement, and we reached Isabella in time for lunch.

However, here is where things get unfortunate. I had already been feeling weird on the boat ride, but dismissed it as sea sickness, although unusual for me. But I was still not better once we had landed. Symptoms included dizziness, tiredness, feeling like the ground is seriously swaying, (embarrassing as it is to admit) diarrhea, and light sensitivity. Any explanations from the medical students among my readers?

But the unfortunate thing is that there were more activities to do, but I realised that if I pushed myself, I would be sick the rest of the voyage. So that afternoon I stayed in the hotel and slept through it. At dinner I felt rejuvenated, and much better, and joined the others at dinner. The only things I had missed were a final snorkel and penguins, but that's alright because I saw a whale shark and I would see penguins at a later date.

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The Galapagos – Pt.6

Need I say it? It's a blue footed Boobie

We started the day with breakfast a two and a bit hour boat ride to Floreana. Before I begin, a little history/mystery:

The island was one of the first to be inhabited, or rather to be colonised, but it quickly drained of people as it was so hard to live there. In 1929, however, a german couple moved to the island to get away from society. Dr. Friedrich Ritter and his mistress, Dore Strauch, were into their own cult which consisted of nudism, vegetarianism, eating only what they grew, and having nothing to do with 'the world'. Dr. Ritter even had his teeth and his mistress' pulled out entirely, mostly because there were no dentists on the island, but also because he saw no need for a veggie to have teeth. It has been noted however, that his strict cult rules were slackened when he began wearing clothes, eating meat and asking for news.

The next people to move in were another German family, the Wittmer's. Margaret Wittmer was pregnant at the time and had the first documented baby to be born on the island. That baby girl grew up to be Floreanita, after the island, and is still alive today. We met her as she was our hotel's hostess, or rather the hostess to the only hotel on the island, set up by her mother before her.

After the Wittmer's came another German woman, with her TWO lovers, and she called herself the Baroness of Floreana. Of course, as the situation would imply, she was bossy, rude, a bit cuckoo, and very much disliked by the previous settlers. Living on the island had become hell until pretty much everyone except Margaret Wittmer and her family disappeared or died suddenly. Margaret wrote all about it in her biography, available in English, Spanish and German at the Hotel Floreana's reception.
And that's the mystery, no one knows just quite what happened, or where the people disappeared to. No bodies were ever found. Ever.
Now back to my day: While on the boat ride, we stopped at a few places, where we saw Blue Footed Boobies, Frigate birds, some with their red pouches inflated, and sea lions yet again. Sea lions everywhere. Even though I don't talk about them much, they're everywhere. Watch out. I'm serious. They look all cute and cuddly just sleeping in the sun or doing flips in the water, but they're planning something...
At one particular stop, we saw a huge National Geographic ship, which I thought was interesting. It was sending out scuba divers in a rubber dinghy.

When we arrived on the island, we had our bags checked, like, someone rummaged through the bag. Everytime you leave or come to an island in the Galapagos, your bags are checked. Even your backpack. But on the hush-hush, they don't really check the bags properly. If I really wanted to take a sea shell or something with me, which is illegal in the Galapagos (nothing is to be left or taken), then I could easily smuggle it. But of course I didn't do anything of the sort, I'm just saying their checkpoints are absolutely ridonculous.

We finally got to the island and our hotel, after many stops and sights. It was right on the coast, and two steps from our door we were on the Playa Negra, the black beach, named so because of the black (rough) volcanic rock sand. Floreanita also had many pets, including two adorable puppies that I dubbed Salt and Pepper, who were sooo playful. I also noticed several Siamese cats, although on approach they proved to be quite feral. But the most notable of these pets was a tortoise named El Solitario (Lonesome). He used to belong to Margaret Wittmer, along with many other tortoises, but when the National Parks took over, and put tortoises under protection, they claimed back the animals. All except Lonesome, Margaret's favourite. Floreanita now also still refuses to hand Lonesome over. He is estimated of being about a hundred years old by now.
After a little lunch and break, we got ready for a walk in the higher parts of Floreana. Our goal was to reach both the source where the people used to get fresh water, and the 'pirate caves'. With it's good placement and fresh water, Floreana, before the settling Germans, had been a haven for scallywags and buccaneers. While waiting out the storms on the island, they would reside in their homemade shelters, dug out of soft rock. We saw two small such places, but the best one was a long tunnel-like home made in a ravine. There were holes in the walls to place doors and lock in place logs to make cages for livestock. It was all quite impressive. There's even, apparently, meant to still be treasure hidden on the island.
We did see the source, but what do you want me to say? It was a source.
After the pirate caves and a little break at a great viewpoint, we continued further on the path, this time heading more in forest. We arrived at a place that housed lots of tortoises. They were actually the first giant tortoises we saw, so everyone was very excited. I am not quite sure where we were, as the tortoises were wild-ish, not pets, and yet they were in an enclosure. Granted, it was very large, but still an enclosure, and they were being fed and all. So, not quite sure here.
But after them we went back to the truck that had taken us to the path, and went back to the hotel. It was still a while before dinner, so most of us went to the pier to watch the sun set over the water, in the company of sea lions, marine iguanas, and Sally Lightfoot crabs.

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