Blogs from Galápagos, Ecuador, South America - page 2

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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island November 30th 2018

Another calm, smooth overnight navigation had us at Moreno Point on Isabela island. I should mention how we get off the boats with the dry-landings. Fabian and Christian who did a lot of the zodiac driving would jump off first and then Fabian would always say “one by one, side by side” which we would all repeat and they would grab your arm and you would grab theirs and they pulled you up. This was a dry-landing onto a massive black lava flow which had big cracks that created mini-canyons. Some parts were quite smooth and looked like highways with big cracks in them. The various shapes were fascinating. After walking over the lava flow for a while we then came across some lakes with beautiful flamingoes which were quite a contrast to the harsh black ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island November 29th 2018

Having already arrived in Santa Cruz, it was a very calm night on the boat, but some of us stayed up a bit too late so nearly everyone was quite tired. After the usual 07:00 breakfast we left for our dry-landing onto Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz which is on the opposite of the island from where we landed by plane on Monday. Today was our Giant Tortoise day, but our first stop after being bundled into a mini-bus, was to walk around a couple of old volcanic craters within Galapagos National Park where Fabian explained some details of the flora. As we drove up from the port Fabian told us to look out for tortoises as they make their way up from the lowlands to the highlands.. After the crater walk we were driven to a ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos November 28th 2018

Another night-time navigation had us at the small island of Bartolome and it was a beautiful sight to wake-up to as from this spot we could also see the larger island, Santiago and the other small island nearby called Chinese Hat because of its shape, which we would also visit in the afternoon. Originally, the day was going to start with a dry-landing onto the island but Fabian noticed a big group of tourists already on the island so switched the activities around and we started with a zodiac boat ride around the island to try and spot penguins. We didn’t see any penguins but we did see pelicans and crabs. We then did the landing and we walked along a boarded walk which turned into 370 steps as we climbed to the top of the ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Genovesa Island November 27th 2018

Regular schedule is 07:00 breakfast and out today at 07:30. Overnight we had navigated to Genovesa Island and we were anchored in Darwin Bay. At 08:00 we did our first wet-landing which means we arrive at a beach and then jump off the zodiac boat which is an inflatable motor boat into the water and walk onto the beach, carrying our shoes. Here we saw a lot of wildlife close-up, sea lions, petrels, red footed boobies and other birdlife. This walk was about 60 minutes and we then returned to the boat for a drink and snacks before going for our first snorkeling adventure. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble taking in too much sea-water as the sea was quite choppy in the area we were snorkeling in. The other times I have snorkeled were ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos November 26th 2018

Up at 03:00 th his morning for a 04:00 pickup. We picked up another couple, Rob and Steph, two doctors from the UK who are currently living in Australia. They have been in Hervey Bay hospital but moving to Melbourne when they return. They are also on the same catamaran as us, Nemo I for Galapagos. The driver as usual came in with us to help with check-in until a rep from Nemo I took over. All Galapagos visitors have to first check-in at an entry office where we paid $20. Daisy and Steph were told to wait there in line while Rob and I took our luggage to the check-in counter for the flight. After that we all had to go to an ATM to withdraw more cash as another girl we met, Hayden, an ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » Galápagos October 29th 2018

GALAPAGOS This year I am starting a seven-week trip to South America. The first 2 weeks are in Ecuador, starting in Quito, and doing an 8 day visit to the Galagos, and then return to Quito. I will be travelling with my girlfriend Patty. In fact, Patty was the inspiration for this part of the trip. She loves animals, and is fascinated by Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, which was initially conceived in 1835 by his visit to the Galapagos. Following the Galapagos part of the trip, Patty will be returning to Toronto, and I will be travelling to Chile to do a motorcycle trip from Osorno, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina. Our itinerary is as follows: Nov 5, 2018 Quito We were met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Today we visited the historic city ... read more
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Juvenile Frigate

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island September 9th 2018

We pack our bags and prepare to leave the lovely Gran Queen Beatriz for the last time. First stop is a visit to the Interpretation Centre which explains the rather bleak history of the islands. There has been a lot of exploitation, parts have been used as penal colonies, work camps, the land and sea stripped of resources. Now the local and tourist populations are soaring and the administration is starting to wrestle with water supplies and protecting the envirinment again. However it feels like they are being proactive. We have one last walk around and take some photos of sealions -you would think by now we woukd be over them! Then we boare the plane back to the very comfortable Le Parc hotel in Quito where we arrive about 6pm. A final dinner with the ... read more
San Cristóbal Bird life
San Cristóbal
Leaving San Cristóbal

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island September 8th 2018

Our last full day in Galapagos and it really is a full day. We start with a steep walk up the volcanic Punta Pitt on Isla Cristobal. we are rewarded with plenty of photo opportunities of the Red and Blue footed boobies. This is quite a busy spot with lots of tourists. We have been spoilt up until now by having each stop more or less to ourselves. We find these intruders rude and noisy. On the way back I see the very rare Blue Footed Australian Booby and it’s smaller mate with darker plumage - also known as Wayne and Narelle. The landscape is striking with high, very steep volcanic rocks, stark flat areas and a few scrubby bushes. After we clamber back down to the golden beach, it is time for another snorkel. The ... read more
Australian Blue Footed Booby and Mate
Red Footed Booby - Punta Pitt
Blue Footed Booby - Punta Pitt

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Española Island September 7th 2018

Overnight we travel for about 6 hours - the boat is quite noisy when we are under motor -and in the morning we are at Isla Espanola. We go ashore and discover this is where all the marine iguanas hang out. There are hundreds of them all sunning themselves on the rocks. And even more seals, a lot of cute baby ones too. Another highlight of the island are the waved albatross who are nesting. The chicks are huge and very fluffy. More lava lizards of all sorts of colours. Mockingbirds that wander between our feet. It really is astounding how little fear they have. Several times we have to stop and let the locals pass. Freightor birds spot some dead fish and a fight breaks out with all of them swooping down trying to get ... read more
Cheeky Mockingbird - Punta Suarez
Heaps of Marine Iguanas - Punta Suarez
Marine Iguana - Punta Suarez

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos September 6th 2018

Early in the morning we cruise to Sante Fe and after a hearty breakfast head to shore. There are plenty of sealions to greet us. Alexis, our guide, explains the differences between sealions and seals but we get interrupted by the arrival of a young hawk. We walk up through the scrubby rocky low lying neighbourhood and see plenty of lava lizards and several land iguanas. Another young hawk also appears. The frigate birds fly overhead, they have long forked tails and the males have that impressive bulging red throat when excited. Near the end of the walk - and no surprises I am near the back again - a hawk lands on a branch right besides the track. Nothing seems to have any fear of us. The sealions lie across the path and just walk ... read more
Female Yellow Warbler - Santa Fe
Lava Lizard - Santa Fe
Land Igauna - Santa Fe




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