The Galapagos is an archipelago of barren volcanic islands. The equatorial sun burns down on them and there is very little shade.
With no fresh water the islands are not well suited to habitation by either donkeys or humans.
Most of them are uninhabited refuges for a remarkable array of wildlife with unique species that helped to form Charles Darwin’s conclusions about evolution.
To explore a few of the islands and to meet some of the remarkable native inhabitants DonQui needs to get on a boat. There are a wide choice of day trips available from Puerto Ayora and all require an early morning start. This takes some effort on DonQui’s part as he is not naturally an early riser.
A dingy or water taxi takes DonQui to his waiting vessel on each of his three day-excursions to Pinzón, Isabella and North Seymour. The boats are quite comfortable — especially the catamaran which takes him to North Seymour. The groups on board are very small, usually about 10-12 passengers — the number of visitors being strictly limited to avoid overcrowding and too much disturbance to the wildlife.
A dingy is towed along behind to assist with beach landings and to get to good snorkelling spots.
On his way to Pinzón DonQui is lucky to encounter some Dolphins who decided to playfully swim around the boat for several minutes.
… and on the way back from North Seymour a huge Tiger Shark escorts DonQui out of the shark’s territorial waters. DonQui thinks it best not to argue.
The various snorkelling stops are the best part of all the trips. The water is crystal clear so DonQui is able to observe a huge array of tropical fish. Off Pinzón a family of sea lions swim alongside. One comes right up to DonQui and nosily presses its snout at DonQui’s mask. Off North Seymour DonQui suddenly finds himself in the middle of a huge school of whitetip sharks — hundreds of them swimming all around him. It was quite breathtaking.
Whilst snorkelling he aslo encounters marine iguanas, sea turtles, barracuda and several species of rays.
DonQui also meets many fascinating species of birds such as these iconic blue footed boobies. Nearby DonQui sees a Galapagos penguin swimming and diving for fish.
One of these male frigate birds is puffing up his red throat sack in the hope of attracting a mate. The other looks as if he couldn’t be bothered.
DonQui sees land iguanas everywhere.
And he also comes across a pair of giant tortoises doing their best to ensure the continuation of their species.
Six days on the Galapagos with three spent on the inhabited Santa Cruz and three day-excursions to other islands is just about enough. DonQui thinks it might have been an idea to have spent a bit longer so he could have gone to San Cristobal to spent a night there. However, he has seen more wildlife close up than he could possibly have hoped for. So he is just about ready for his next adventure
2 thoughts on “Island hopping”
Superb, senor, just superb. I didn’t know there were such things as marine iguanas. Amazing.
Looks absolutely amazing. Although, not sure I would brave the waters after spotting a tiger shark 😬
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