Galapagos Tortoises Day.

Puerto Villamil Travel Blog

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Baby Galapagos Tortoises. The numbers were not for a race later that day.

Hello all,

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.

This is Lonesome George. He is the last surviving male Pinta Island Tortoise. They have found a few females of the same species, so hope still remains.
  Of course this attracted tons of pelicans, and the odd frigate bird.  We were standing there watching the proceedings when a sea lion cames up the steps from the harbor and sat right next to a fisherman cleaning a fish.  It was shameless begging and would have made me sick, if she wasn't so adorable.  After several dozen photographs, and some ooo'ing and ahh'ing we moved on to grab our luggage and head towards the boat.

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.

It's feeding time at the Charles Darwin Research Station. The best time to see tortoise butts.
  And when a boat employee left his seat next to me I took the opportunity to lie down, and I actually slept for the last 30 minutes of the 1:45 trip.  I was happy we must've had the fast boat.

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.

Later, Phil

aswold says:
Excellent!
Posted on: Feb 28, 2008
ted332 says:
Nice blog!
Posted on: Jan 22, 2008
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Baby Galapagos Tortoises.  The num…
Baby Galapagos Tortoises. The nu…
This is Lonesome George.  He is th…
This is Lonesome George. He is t…
Its feeding time at the Charles D…
It's feeding time at the Charles …
A close up of a hungry Galapagos T…
A close up of a hungry Galapagos …
The fish cleaning area in Puerto A…
The fish cleaning area in Puerto …
Ok, the cuteness meter was pegged …
Ok, the cuteness meter was pegged…
My best picture of the tortoise ma…
My best picture of the tortoise m…
Me checking out this sea lion.  I …
Me checking out this sea lion. I…
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