Monday, September 22, 2014

Galapagos Trip IV - Animals on Isabella

Great snorkeling - although our guide at times seemed more interested in taping animals than guiding us to spots to see them.
Love the fish, sea anemones, wonderful urchins.

I followed a sea turtle, swam with sea lions and penguins, dove with sharks (small and large) and saw grey and black stingrays.

Sea Iguana - I saw one swim, too, but way to fast to take a picture. (And watching trumps taking pictures, anyway!)

Endemic Galapagos sea lion swirling the water. We could see them from the hotel, surfing the waves, and snorkeling around them was fun!

The little harbor on Isabella - great place to snorkel, too. There was a huge school of 'feed' fish attracting lots of other animals. Think of penguins, sea lions, pelicans diving.

Blue footed boobies. Yes, that's their name, and there are lots of T-shirts available with these.

One of many sea turtles we saw (including while snorkeling :-) ). What a beautiful sight when they glide through the water. 

Boobie with chick.

Flamingos, here! There are said to be around 400 flamingos native on Isabella, and they get their color from shrimp larvae. 

Beautiful - but not that eager to move, this one at least. Amazing how slow they move when grazing (on the rocks or under water). Pretty large, this one was at least 1.5 m including tail. 

Different dude, similar expression. 

Hm. Rocks in the water. 

Land iguana. Quite pretty.

Same species.

Sally Lightfoot crabs - famous for their colorful shells. Lots of black crabs, too, which are super hard to see on all the black lava rocks. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Galapagos Trip III - Tortoises in the wild

Tortoises - (vs sea turtles) - 'Galopegos' gave the Galapagos Islands their name. After eaten to near extinction, some of the species have recovered to some extent, others are still struggling. These here live wild in a huge sanctuary.

Lots of birds like white sticks

Bees or wasps nest

Eating a guava - invasive and damaging on the Galapagos

Taking a mud bath to cool and get rid of bugs

Often just the nose holes stick out, even less than on this picture

A finch around the water hole

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Galapagos Trip - Part II: Sierra Negra and sex on the rocks

Just an old volcano - last eruption was 2005. A nice hike, fresh and relatively cool. High enough to walk through the clouds (~ 1100 m).

 One of several vermilion flycatcher on the way up. 

The 'caldera' of the ~ 530,000 year old volcano - with fresh lava from 2005.

Caldera is the top of the volcano - when caved in and more or less in bowl form. 

No green on the ground of the caldera yet, too fresh, too stony. 

What a nice hike through some mist - same humidity as Austin, just 15 C less. 

Yup, tired and waiting for the drive back (to have some good, fresh, local, typical food). Food is good, tasty, lots of greens and fish. 

Slow hiker racing across the path. 

Sex on the rocks. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Galapagos - Trip Part 1

Just some pictures, few comments. Great trip, wonderful country and people.

Arrival on Baltra (after a lay over in Guayakil, Ecuador)

Sally Lightfoot crabs.

Finch - what would Galapagos be without its finches?

A garden shot from Isabella Island.

A palm with lots of coconuts in our hotel on Isabella.

Pelicans drying their feathers 20 m from the hotel on Santa Cruz. 

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