As Explorers’ Corner and Natural Habitat Adventures travelers, you already know that your favorite tour companies have never been content to be just the usual, environmentally friendly ones. Both are continually raising the bar for eco-tour providers. Natural Habitat Adventures was the world’s first 100 percent carbon neutral travel company; and Explorers’ Corner has been a pioneer in adventure travel for almost a decade, known around the world for its authentic experiences in our planet’s still-remote and wild places.
So now, we begin 2012 with a new first: a book of adventure stories (and some amazing, original photography you won’t see anywhere else!), titled An Adventurous Nature: Tales from Natural Habitat Adventures.
A teaser of a tale
Born and raised in the Galapagos, Diogenes Aguirre is the eldest child of one of the handful of farming families that inhabit the islands. His passion for nature has led him to a career in science that enables him to continue to explore and help protect that amazing archipelago.
Below is an excerpt from his story, which appears in the book An Adventurous Nature: Tales from Natural Habitat Adventures:
“It was several days’ journey by boat from mainland Ecuador before my parents, Ulvio Aguirre and Libia Gómez, finally arrived in the Galapagos in 1975 to start their new life. My father had worked in the islands in the 1960s, earning what was then a small fortune breaking up lava rock by hand for use in building the first hospital on Santa Cruz Island. But it wasn’t until 1975 when he saw an advertisement seeking construction and farm workers — and promising an opportunity for a better life — that he took my mother and set out by boat for a new future in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Unlike many colonists in the 1940s who were given large tracts of land, our family’s farm of about 170 hectares was accumulated over time by the fruits of hard work.
“I was my parents’ first child, born that first year in the Galapagos. Like most Ecuadorians, the Aguirre family is devoutly Catholic. Our social life in our new home revolved around making the two-hour walk to the nearest town each Sunday for mass and meeting with the small number of people who lived in the surrounding areas.
“Apart from these visits to town, we were always on the farm. My brothers and sister were my only company until I was twelve years old. Then, a family with kids my age moved to a farm nearby.
“Once I began school, farm life still consumed all the hours not spent on study. It also provided everything we needed to survive. Our chores included collecting eggs, sowing crops, or hunting feral pigs and goats in the forest. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to roam, and bird watching became a favorite hobby. The first time I stumbled across a giant tortoise, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Exploring lava tubes, climbing the pit craters, and building makeshift boats on the lagoon forged a connection with nature that became an innate part of my world.
“On the rare occasion a plane would fly overhead, we would climb the highest trees to watch it. We had no modern technology in our lives; ours was a place of kerosene lamps and wood fires for cooking. We lived without doctors and stores. My father’s pride and joy was his battery-operated, shortwave radio. It was our conduit to the outside world.”
Voices from around the world
Diogenes is just one of the many people — including guides, naturalists, village elders, researchers, and travelers, among others — you’ll hear from in the book. Get your copy, and then begin to let this new sort of adventures unfold.
Here’s to yours, in whatever corner of the world you find them,