Rider in the Wild

Adventure is out there

In January 2014, 24 Rider students, along with 4 faculty members, embarked on the trip of a lifetime. The destination? The Galapagos Islands.

After 2 planes, a bus, a ferry, and another bus, we arrived to the Isle of Santa Cruz. Our first stop was Los Gemelos, or "The Twins". We stood around these gaping craters in the earth, looking in awe at their width and depth. After a lesson on these collapsed magma chambers and a photo op, we boarded the bus to go to our hotel.

We pulled up to our hotel, a seemingly small venue, and unloaded the bus. Passing through the walkway, the Hotel Silberstein revealed itself to be much larger than originally thought. Complete with a pool, it reflected the paradise of the islands. After traveling for a full day, we were ready to sit back and relax.

Little did we know / remember, we had plans to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station after lunch. We walked a short way down the main road to the center. On our way, we passed land iguanas covering the road and sidewalk. The research station was much larger than I imagined it would be, with various sections dedicated to the different stages of tortoise growth. We walked around the station and learned about their conservation efforts. Seeing the tortoises at every stage of their life was very exciting because we could really grasp how much they grow and develop. While exploring the station, we found a path to a private beach. We stood admiring the beauty of the ocean, finally letting it sink in that we were in the Galapagos Islands.

For the next 6 days, we ventured to the different islands of the Galapagos. Each day, we experienced a new adventure with vibrant flora and fauna. Rider students truly immersed themselves into the wild of the Galapagos Islands.

Hanging Out with our Professors

The trip of a lifetime was not a vacation, but a learning experience outside of the classroom. Our professors were with us to learn along side us. Having professors on the trip with different academic backgrounds added to the learning environment. Though I went on the trip as a communications student, I learned so much about the geology of the islands and the biology of the wildlife. We all learned from one another and it was the true foundation of our trip.

Snorkeling in the Sea

We were able to get up close and personal with sea lions, sea turtles, and the many other species of wildlife in the ocean. Though we never touched any wildlife *wink wink* we could play around with the sea lions as they constantly approached us and blew bubbles in our goggles. The sea turtles were so close you felt as though you were Captain Jack Sparrow and you could ride them home. And the fish! There were so many fish it was as though you joined their school.

This experience is one that the students and faculty will never forget; it truly was the trip of a lifetime.

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