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The Galapagos Islands truly are enchanted, often I felt like I was walking in a dream and wondering whether it was really real.
I have never been in an area where such care is taken to preserve and restore the natural habitat. The authorities encourage people to visit, but the number of people and the places they can visit are carefully controlled so there are never large crowds in the uninhabited areas.
It was an amazing experience being around animals who had no fear of humans. We could easily get within 6 feet of most of them.
Advice from a Giant Tortoise
Access your ancient wisdom
The Earth is your mother
Move slowly, everything will be accomplished
Your past will only pull you back, keep growing, live now.
Speaking of the past history of Giant Tortoises…
Up to 200,000 Giant Tortoises were taken by whalers and pirates from the Galapagos Is. They were stored upside down in the hull of their ships for up to a year and eaten for food. On Española Island, researchers from the Darwin Center found a remnant population of tortoises ( 2 males, 14 females). The Darwin Center was also able to reclaim a male from the San Diego Zoo that was taken off of Española in the 1930’s. The Española tortoises are breeding at the Darwin Center and to date, 1800 Giant Tortoises have been repatriated to the island.
Frigatebirds swoop just at the surface of the water with their wings spread and scoop up fish with their beaks.
Our group watched the flamingos flying toward us. Some were taking photos, others watched in awe. But all were thankful for the opportunity to see something so magnificent.
Dancing with a Green Sea Turtle
Back and forth with the surge
Such beauty and wildness
Never to be forgotten
The fight went on for over 15 minutes. The land iguana was flipped over on its back 2 times and its neck had bite marks on it. Our group left before the end. It was unnerving to witness the rawness of these two species battling for their survival.
The pup wanted to keep nursing and the mother waddled away. The pup followed braying mournfully.
Sea Lions are awkward and “comical” on land. In the water, they are breathtakingly sleek and acrobatic.
Life and death was continuously around us, interwoven into the fabric of the land. For instance, you might see a plump sea lion pup nursing, take three steps and find a sea lion carcass or a young pup who is starving because his mother was killed for unknown reasons.
Marine Iguanas spend most of their time on land basking on rocks. They must get warm enough to feed in the cool nearshore water on algae. Their diet causes them to have an excess of salt in their body which they “snort out” through their nose.
Blue footed Boobys dive from great heights with their wings tucked in until they are torpedo shaped. They dive deep in the water for fish.
Undersea World of the Galapagos
Trip of a lifetime!