During my leave of absence I also seek the flora and fauna outside Kabalebo. In this journal I take a look back when I traveled to the Galapagos islands.
Since the month May is always a quiet month for us, I usually spent those free days to explore the world. I also like to experience the nature from other places. Since I also like to do birdwatching, even when I am off duty, I decided to go to the Galapagos islands. I heard and read so much about the Galapagos islands that I wanted to see it for myself.
The Galapagos Islands are also known as the Galapagos National Park. Before entering the island I had to pay a fee, but only once.
The Galapagos islands are only accessible by taking a boat or a plane. Since I wasn't sure if I was 'strong' enough to stay on a boat for a certain period of time, I took the other option: the airplane. The view from inside the airplane was already breathtaking, let alone experience it. We landed at the Baltra island and headed of to the Santa Cruz island. The pick up service was excellent. They made sure that I reached my stay safe and sound.
I stayed for a couple of days on the islands. My first stop was the 'Charles Darwin Research Station' on the Santa Cruz island. I immediately went to look for 'Lonesome George', the legendary land tortoise. But I was a couple of years too late: George was already gone for years. Of course I felt kind of sad, I travelled all the way to the Galapagos to learn about this 'old' news. In the end I found this beauty! What a big fellow. Nothing in comparison with our tortoises.
Interesting quote said/written by none other then Charles Darwin.
Here I was on my way to the Tortuga Bay where I could spot some birds by myself and get acquainted with the island. It was almost a 3 km road by the way!!
It was a one way road, so getting lost was no option. There were some guards here and there making sure that you won't walk off the 'special designed' paths. The birds and Iguanas weren't as shy and agile as I had expected. You could easily take a close up picture of them. The Smooth-billed Ani was rather curious than afraid and the Marine Iguanas were just taking their naps. It wasn't necessary to hire a guide as there were enough info boards spread out.
I met this Brown Pelican on the beach. It kept an eye on me while I was being the paparazzi.
On the Galapagos Islands I felt right away at home. Everybody was friendly and helpful. You can't get lost very easily as it is an island. The public taxi's are the white pick - ups. Transportation was USD$1,- no matter the destination … it is an island.
The next day I was picked up at my hostel and I had a whole day of sightseeing. Our boat for the day was the one seen in the middle.
On our way to see some birds we saw a couple of sharks in the water. I was too late to take a picture of them as I was enjoying the scenery.
Unbelievable!! I brought along my 200 mm zoom lens and still I was able to take these shots. Usually I fail in taking flight pictures with this lens, but this was my lucky day. Here we spotted the Magnificent Frigatebirds (juvenile and male adult seen flying and sitting on a nest). They almost look like the Great Frigate bird, but the Magnificent frigate bird, male, has dark grey eye rings and the Great Frigate bird has red eye rings.
This Blue-footed Booby was so friendly to pose for me. What a beauty!!
The trip was only for a couple of hours but still I was able to see only new kind of birds. Birds that I have never seen before. Here we spotted the Swallow-tailed Gull sitting on its nest.
At first I thought that this was a Giant otter, but instead it was a Sea Lion.
This Black Necked Stilt didn't mind all the attention. It is used to it on a daily basis.
On our way back our guide was telling us interesting stories about the islands and the animals. But I didn't pay much attention to it as I was still mesmerized by this view, his words were taken away by the lovely breeze.
I traveled with a group of 25 people and we had 2 guides who kept us company the whole time.
At the end of our island trip we were treated with lunch and dessert. They were small portions though but then I learned why: not everybody on board has a strong stomach.
Our boat trip ended late in the afternoon, giving us the opportunity to enjoy this view.
Before I knew it I had to leave this wonderful remote place heading back to another remote place.
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