Galapagos Tortoises Day.
Puerto Villamil Travel Blog› entry 4 of 26 › view all entries
Today was the first full day of my tour in the Galapagos. The included breakfast was tasty, and after that we went to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station is dedicated to the breeding and re-introduction into the wild of Galapagos Giant Tortoises. We saw dozens of the critters, and were able to get very close up. It was feeding time for most of them, and that meant that we were able to see most of them crowded around a bunch of palm leaves eating like cattle. The noise was alot of fun, and it sounded and looked like Jurassic Park close up. There were also different types of land iguana at the center, and I hadn't seen a few of them.
On the walk back from the station, we stopped at the place where the fishermen bring in their catch to clean.
The boat to Isla Isabela was fairly large, and it was powered by two 150hp outboard motors. I was told that the trip would take about two hours, but to maybe expect a longer journey. There were six passengers on the boat, and we left the harbor by 2:30pm. The ride was pretty rough, and we had just eaten. Finding a comfortable seating position was the hardest thing.
We were met at the dock by Carlos, and we departed in a van to our hotel in the center of Puerto Villamil. Puerto Villamil is the main town on Isla Isabella, and it might contain 1,000 people. The hotel was nice, although I did have to change rooms to get a functional air conditioner. The whole town seemed to have that laid-back island feel to it, and it was very inviting.
We then headed out to another giant tortoise breeding facility. This one was considerably smaller, but was still populated by many tortoises of different ages. We were also lucky enough to hear, and barely see some tortoises mating behind a brick structure. There was grunting, panting, and the sound of shells clanking together. 7x optical setting got a snapshot of the males front legs propped up on the female's shell. Not to comfy looking. Very nice.
After dinner I made it an early night. After some quick blogging on this internet free island, I went to sleep.