Galapagos - Day 3

Walking on Santa Fe IslandIn the morning we walked on a trail for about 1.5h on Santa Fe Island. We saw lots of sea lions, land iguanas (which are different from marine iguanas – they are yellow and red in colour and live exclusively on land, whereas the marine iguanas are black and have to go into the ocean to eat algae as their food source), some amazing cacti, a tree called the palo santo (the sap is burned as incense), crabs, lots of birds like the oyster catcher, finches, a rare gull (the guide couldn’t remember its name it was that rare!), pelicans, and yellow finches.

Alpha Male Sea Lion, Santa Fe IslandAfter boarding the boat, we changed into our wetsuits and got in the dinghies to go snorkeling. I was really nervous because we were starting from the boats this time, not the beach! Once I got used to it, and realized I was not likely to drown, I really enjoyed it! The water was quite clear and we saw huge schools of all sorts of colourful fish. It was amazing! There were a few sea lions playing in the water nearby as well. This was some of the best snorkeling we would do in Galapagos.

Marine Iguana, South Plaza IslandBack on board, the boat cruised towards the Plazas Islands. We went for a hike on South Plaza Island. The first animals we came across were land iguanas, which eat the young cacti on the island. We saw two males signal to each other to fight (they nod their heads at each other), and then they ran at each other! It was pretty cool. Dave decided he should film it with his camera, and he was doing so when the iguanas made a run for him! It was hilarious. We watched the iguanas for a while longer, thinking that another two might mate, but the female walked away disinterested. As our guide repeatedly told us, “It all depends on the nature”! The island itself was beautiful with its cacti and other vegetation, and a small bush called carpet weed, which was changing colour to orange and red as the end of the dry season was arriving (during the wet season it changes to green). On one side of the island was a cliff where tonnes of different birds were flying about. On the way back to the boat we saw one of the largest Alpha male sea lions. He was huge. We saw tropic birds and some more marine iguanas as well.

Back on board, the boat headed through the evening to North Seymour Island.

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Posted in ecuador | galapagos | travel Submitted by Meg on Tue, 2010-12-28 21:05

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