travelling the seven parts of the world

Day 2: Isabela and Fernandina

On day 2 we stepped out on the largest island in Galapagos, Isabela. This island is actually the merger of 5 different volcanoes that used to be 5 different islands. This is why there are 5 different types of giant tortoises here.

At this time the giant tortoises are usually around the highlands area, and we were only near the bay, so we only so 3 of them, but the guide said this was a good number, as there are times they see none in this area.

This was also the only time we saw land iguanas.

This is a land iguana nest:

And this is a land iguana yawning at all these 2 legged freaks that have ran around to watch it:

After that we went off to the beach, where we could see how tortoises had laid eggs.

Yes, that is not a tractor mark, it's a tortoise walking on sand!

After that we snorkeled, went back to the ship, had lunch, and sailed to Fernandina.

Fernandina is best known for all the sea related wildlife that lives on or near it, mainly because the active volcano here tends to occasionally wipe out all life living on the island.

The first and most noticeable animal is the crab. The crabs are everywhere, literally.

Then come the marine iguanas. You have to be careful with these guys, to make sure you don't step on them. Seriously. They are black, so you sometimes can't notice them, and they will not run away from you, even as you are stepping on it. If you step on it, you might kill it.

We saw, hundreds, even thousands of marine iguanas. Don't believe me? Look at this:

They are cold blooded creatures, so to keep up their body temperature during the evening and night, the huddle together. Lots of them.

Some of the Sea Lions females had very large cubs. These cubs drink nothing but their mother's milk until they are 6-7 months old. The problem is, at 6-7 months old, they are nearly the same size as their mother, which leads for a weird view of a female sea lion breast feeding a sea lion nearly same size as her. The above two are, however, just resting.

Some of the Sea Lions you could walk really close to:

This bird below is the flightless cormorant, one of only 49 birds on the planet that do not fly, and can only be found on the Galapagos Islands. Instead of using his wings for flying, this guy uses them for better speed and maneuvering in the water.

The Galapagos Penguins are the second smallest penguins in the world, after the ones in New Zealand. I guess they were carried to here or swam to here by using the cold Humboldt Current coming from Antarctica. After that, they slowly adapted to living in the hotter water, which is around in the wet season.

The hawk is apparently an introduced animal, thanks to humans. He now gets to eat everything from tortoise eggs to baby iguanas.

And that was it for day 2. We also got a new seating arrangement in the restaurant, so we exchanged this one daughter and mother couple with a much better couple from Italy, who had lived in France, and who now lived in USA. So we did manage to find a lot of things to talk about.