My 10 weeks as a research intern have flown by. Ten weeks sounds like a lot, but really it’s not. Just as I was starting to feel settled, it was time to leave.
On Tuesday I said bye to the whale sharks, to Darren & Manolo (the directors), to the other volunteers of Whale Shark Research Project, to my fake foster pup, to his real mom Steph and to my new dive buddies Alexia and Rafa.
I’m very thankful for all that I was able to experience while in La Paz. I got to swim with whale sharks at least 3 times a week (sometimes more) for two and a half months. I saw a humpback whale breach less than 20 yards away from the boat. I played with sea lions. I dove at conservation hotspot Cabo Pulmo. I got certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver with Alexia and Rafa of Dive in La Paz – they’re awesome! Just some of the highlights of my 10 weeks.
I will definitely miss La Paz. The town itself was lovely – I much preferred it to Cabo San Lucas which felt more like America than Mexico. There was tons of good, cheap food, no shortage of outdoor activities and anywhere you were was not far from the water. And the whale sharks of course are amazing. To anyone thinking of volunteering, I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you want more information check out the website http://www.whalesharkrp.com.
A couple people have asked me about Pepe, the dog I keep posting photos of. He’s staying in La Paz. He is my friend Steph’s dog, but I took care of him when she first rescued him. I wish I could bring him but I don’t think he’d be allowed in some of the places where I am going next…
I flew Tuesday to Guadalajara where I watched Nacho Libre – style wrestling and experienced a bit of the city.
Wednesday night I boarded on overnight flight to Santiago, Chile. I just arrived here yesterday morning and will be meeting my friend Meredith from Virginia Tech. We’re going to be heading down to Patagonia this weekend to hike in Torres del Paine National Park for 8 days and do some hikes and glacier activities in the Argentina as well. In 3 weeks, I’ll meet my parents in Lima and we’ll visit Cusco, Machu Picchu, Quito and the Galapagos. Then I’ll spend one more month between Ecuador and Colombia before flying back to the States at the very end of May.
I was sad to leave La Paz, but it’s hard not to be excited about my upcoming travel plans!