Galapagos

Day 1
The Galapagos islands look like deserts. We got off the plane and went to our boat, the Angelito. It is 70 feet long and 3 stories high.We ate lunch while we drove to our first stop. We got on a smaller boat and went to shore. The scenery is very strange. It looks like a desert but it is humid, rains a lot and has a lot of animals. While we walked along, we saw Marine Iguanas,Flamingos and Great Frigate Birds. The Marine Iguanas are smaller than they look inn the pictures. They are about 60cm long. Unfortunately, the Great Frigate Birds were not inflating their chins. We walked in another direction, just in time to see a baby Green Turtle hatchling running for the water. It was about an inch and a half long and moved surprisingly quickly. As soon as it got to the water it was eaten by a Great Frigate Bird. Then we went snorkeling. I saw a parrot fish and swam through a small school of tiny, silver fish. Later, there was a Galapagos Sea Lion on the back of our boat.

Day 2
In the morning we went to an island with lots of Galapagos Sea Lions. It was neat because they weren't scared of us. They even came towards you. We got barked at by some big males and chased by some playful pups. Most of the mothers were asleep. There were also lots of Marine Iguanas and lava lizards. When we went back to the boat, there was a Lava Gull on it. In the afternoon we walked to the top of another island. The scenery was very strange. There was hard dry dirt, cactuses, and green grass all in the same place. We saw some male Land Iguanas. They are yellow with red backs and about 60cm long. While we waited for dinner, we saw a sea turtle and some flying fish.

Day 3
In the morning we went for a boat ride along the coast. We saw lots of Blue Footed Boobies and Flightless Cormorants. We also saw a baby sea lion. The baby sea lion would try to play with the cormorants, and it would get squawked at by them. Later on we went out snorkeling. There wasn't any coral, but at any time you could see either a Green Turtle or a Galapagos Penguin in the water with you. It was very strange to swim with a penguin. In the afternoon we went to see a colony of Marine Iguanas. Then we saw three baby sea lions doing tricks. They would jump out of the water and imitate sharks. We walked out on a little peninsula and watched a Lava Heron catching crabs. It got hit by an iguanas tail and looked very annoyed. On the walk back we saw part of a whale skeleton. It was the vertebrae and a few ribs. In the evening we sat outside and watched penguins and StormPetrels catching fish.

Day 4
Today we went to a place where square kilometers of land were lifted out of the ocean in 1954. We walked half a kilometer inland and could still see shells and coral. On our walk we saw some giant tortoises. There were two that were about 60cm long a a 30 cm long baby. The biggest one was about a meter long. Our guide said that it weighed about 90kg and could grow to twice that size. 220Kg tortoises have been recorded. We then went back to the beach to snorkel. They said there was not much to see, so I just swam around. We went on a dingy ride around some small islands. They had cliffs all around, and you could see the different layers of rocks. On top there were trees and cactuses. There were Marine Iguanas, Blue Footed Boobies and penguins sitting on ledges. It is very strange to see a penguin standing next to a cactus. It was low tide, so there was algae exposed on the rocks. There were Marine Iguanas climbing up the cliff to get the algae. Some of them were even hanging upside down while they ate the algae. Then we went to some mangrove forests. There is a tiny channel going into the mangroves that you would never see if there wasn't a sign. Once you go through the channel there is a lagoon. There were lots of see turtles in the lagoon. They like to come in because it is calm.

Day 5
In the morning we took a short dinghy ride around some rocks. We saw penguins, iguanas and Blue Footed Boobies. Then we landed on shore. It was lava as far as you could see except for the occasional patch of trees. We had been walking inland for about ten minutes when we saw a fern. There was no dirt or water, and it was extremely hot. I don't know how it could survive. It looked exactly like the ones in New Zealand. Five minutes later there was a fresh water lake in the middle of the lava. It was full of fish, flamingos and water plants. I have no idea how the fish got there. Later on, while the boat was going to a new island, we saw a Pilot Whale.

Day 6
In the morning we went to a tortoise rearing centre. They had some 1.2 meter long tortoises. They also had hundreds of 1-4 year old tortoises. They had some 20 day old hatchlings they were about 2 inches long. Then we walked up to a volcano crater. It was 8km across. The second largest in the world, the first being Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania. We couldn't see into the crater because of the clouds. When we went swimming in the evening I got stung by a jelly fish.

Day 7
In the morning we walked to a flamingo lagoon. There were about 50 flamingos, one twelfth of all the flamingos in the Galapagos. We walked up to a view point were we could see two nests. When we went back to the boat, there was a sea lion on it. It didn't care about us. Then we went snorkeling in the Devil's Crown. The Devil's Crown is a sunken volcano crater. You can snorkel in and around it. It is one of the best places to snorkel in the Galapagos. I saw a White Tipped Reef Shark, a sting ray and some sea lions. The current there was very strong. If you wanted to go against it, you had to be towed by a boat. On the way to Santa Cruz Isand, there were two dolphins swimming in front of the boat. We went to post office bay. There is a post office box there. The whalers would leave there letters there. They would also look at the addresses of the other letters. If one was addressed to somewhere they were going they would deliver it.

Day 8
Today we went to the tortoise rearing center in Puerto Ayora. We got to hold some one year old hatchlings. They were very cute. Either they would try to get away or they would hide in their shells. Some of them were only about 3 inches long. Then we got to see Lonesome George. They were even feeding him. We then went into one enclosure with some giant males. They were about a meter long.


Baby sea lions playing
Marine Iguana colony on Fernandina
Flightless Cormorants
Blue Footed Boobie
Land Iguana
Galapagos Sea Lion
Brown Pelican
Baby sea lion
Sunset
Baby Green Turtle
Land iguana
Giant tortoises in the wild
Blue Footed Boobie
Endemic Galapagos Penguin
Lava
Tortoises at the breeding/rearing center
20 day old hatchling
                                                        Another tortoise at the center