Wow, wow, wow. I actually don´t know what to say about these amazing islands. It´s been 4 of the most incredible days. It truly feels like you´re in the birthplace of creation when you´re there. The islands are all made from volcanic eruptions and most of them at first glance look barren but when you look closer they are actually teeming with life. In the past four days I have seen (and photographed!) seals, sea lions, blue footed boobies, land and sea iguanas, frigget birds, albatrosses, penguins and giant turtles to name but a few, i think i might go after David Attenborough´s job! It´s been the biggest privellege to visit these islands and be accepted by the animals, they barely give you a second glance. I have also been lucky enough to swim with a giant turtle, iguanas, white tip sharks and penguins.
Only in the Galapagos ...
Nothing prepares you for how magnificent these animals are in the water. Watching an iguana and turtle feed and be able to float next to them for 3 or 4 minutes just doesn´t happen anywhere else. I´m still on a high!
We stayed on the Charles Darwin boat, and I can honestly say the sea life ain´t for me. My cabin mate, Nat and I, had some rather interesting nights being thrown around our cabin as the boat rocked, lurched, jumped and chugged around the islands. It was an experience though. The group was brilliant, some really lovely people and we had a great guide called Sergio who looked as if he grew up on the volcanic rocks, he seemed to actually merge into the scenery at times. He was incredibly knowledgable and managed to bring the islands to life in such a vivid way.
Do you know what it is yet?
We went to the Charles Darwin centre on the main Santa Cruz island on the first day and came face to face with the giant turtles that these islands are famous for plus lots of Iguanas and cacti. It´s rather strange to see such a big town in the Galapagos but fortunately 97% of the islands are part of the UNESCO Heritage Site and are protected. The next two days were spent doing wet landings on North Seymour, Rabida, Bartholome and Sro China walking around to look at the wildlife and learning about the various cones and volcanos in this incredible hot spot. We were also snorkelling twice a day as so much of the beauty is under the water. So many cool rock formations and it´s such a shock when the sea lions and seals come and play with you, swirling round you playing tricks and waiting for you to entertain them back. I´ll say it again .... wow!
So now I´m back in Quito
for 4 more days before I head to the amazon and onwards to Peru. Now all i need to do is find my land legs and for the world to stop rocking .....