Galapagos- wildlife galoreNovember 9, 2016 in Ecuador ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C
Left Quito and flew to Galapagos Islands via Guayaquil (sat in the plane on the tarmac here for 40 minutes while half the plane disembarked.) Transferred to our cruise boat the Santa Cruz II, our home for the next 4 nights. We were fitted out with snorkels, goggles and flippers before going on a panga ride (Zodiac boat) to check out some of the local wildlife. Saw sealions, boobies (blue footed and nasca varieties) and various crabs and seagulls. We then had a beach landing and try out the snorkel if we wanted but it was a bit chilly by this time so we declined at this time.
Next day we had a hike around Santa Fe island, home to many sealions and land iguanas. We couldn't believe how close we could get to them. Plenty of bird life too but sometimes difficult to get good photos of them while flying . After lunch, Brad went snorkeling while I chose the glass bottom boat (bad choice because it made me feel seasick). Brad enjoyed the snorkel dive and said he had a sealion swim straight up to his face (but he did not have the GoPro so cannot prove it)
Day 3 and we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz island to view the giant tortoises. Hmmm, see one tortoise, see them all. They don't actually do much - probably why they live to well over 100 years. However, back in the town we were thoroughly entertained by the local fish market complete with sealions and pelicans patiently waiting at the counter for their share of fishy tidbits. One cheeky sealion climbed the steps from the water, stuck his head in a plastic bag, retrieved a fish head and returned to the water. He did that at least 3 times while we were watching.
Before lunch we had an option to go on a bike ride before lunch. Unfortunately I didn't hear them say it was more uphill than down, plus the bike I had, had terrible gears, plus the fact it became stifling hot. All this was not a good combination and I got picked up half way. Brad didn't enjoy it either. After lunch we visited tortoises in the wild. Nope, can't get too excited about tortoises.
Last day we had another hike around a very rocky island. This time I took a walking pole (stick ) and helped me keep my balance. I still fell and banged my knee but that is just typical of me. This time we saw the marine iguanas which are sometimes called Christmas iguanas because of the red, green and black colouring. Also albatross and their (rather ugly) fluffy big babies, and of course more sealions. Finished the day kayaking and Brad had another snorkel, this time with the GoPro where he shot a whole lot of nothing.
Next morning we returned to Guayaquil which ended our Travelmarvel part of our South American trip . Said farewell to our travel companions for the past month and flew to Ushuaia (via Santiago ) for our final destination - The Antarctic !Read more