November 19, 2007 Our First Full Day in Galapagos
Our first full day in the Galapagos and we’ve each filled the hours with terrific adventures. Barbara, Patrick, Richard, and Carlos set off early to dive the waters off the north side of the island. Richard snorkelled while the others used SCUBA gear. The Galapagos are famous for the richness of its underwater life, and the BAI divers were not disappointed. Highlights of their time underwater included sightings of hammerhead sharks and Galapagos sharks.
Martin and Ann set off for the Darwin Research Station near the village of Puetro Ayora, as did Reuben and Dafna. Francis, Mitchell, Bob, Leila and Wally caught up with them and were soon up close and personal with the giant tortoises. Much effort is going into restoring the tortoise populations of the various islands, their numbers decimated in the 1800s and 1900s by sailors and agricultural practices.
A trail led us past juvenile tortoises getting their start, and then among the giant adults. It was a remarkable experience to sit a couple of feet from creatures of such size and longevity, and we felt honored to be among them. The research center is also home to a program to build up the populations of iguanas once prevalent on the islands but now endangered. We had the opportunity to see and photograph the two species indigenous to the Galapagos.
For the afternoon, everyone took a lesson from the tortoisesmove slowly, eat well, move slowly again. For most of us that meant wandering Charles Darwin Avenue that hugs Pelican Bay along the front of the town of Puento Ayora. There were lots of shops to visit, and terrific little restaurants where the seafood on our plates had still been swimming at dawn.
It’s late afternoon now, and nearly everyone has returned to the Finch Bay hotel. Naps are sneaking up on usa very satisfying way to spend a couple of hours after a most fulfilling day.
All Text, Images and Audio Files © Berg Adventures International 2007