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Guest Galapagos Diary, Days 4 & 5
IE was fortunate to welcome guest Kathryn Lamb and her father, both from London, aboard our Galapagos Islands cruise. Kathryn was generous enough to share her daily travel diary and photos from their Galapagos experience.
Catch up with the rest of Kathryn’s Trip Diary:
An early start meant we left the ship at 07:15 after a delicious breakfast, and began hiking across the rocky terrain of Punta Suarez on Espanola (Hood) Island. Here we saw the long awaited sighting of blue-footed boobies which were amazing. They were so cute and I couldn’t believe how tame they were! We also saw albatross and scary looking marine iguanas!
After lunch and a much needed "power siesta" to recover from the early start, we went to Gardner Bay beach where we tried snorkelling for the first time. Juvenile sea lions came to play with us whilst snorkelling which was hilarious! We also saw turtles and numerous colourful fish. We walked around the beach where there were more sea lions. Some watched us intriguingly whilst we walked by whilst others were happy to just snooze on the beach in the sun. A number of sea lions were sleeping side by side on the beach which reminded by of tourists sunbathing on a package holiday!
On returning to the Evolution we were greeted by yet another sea lion that had climbed aboard the ship to hitch a ride!
We arrived in Santa Cruz to visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station. Here we saw many tortoises including a number of very small ones in a captive breeding program. The highlight of that visit though was seeing Lonesome George, a giant tortoise estimated to be over 100 years old. George is the last of his species and researchers are trying to help him mate with a female, but theydidn’t appear to be having much luck!
Afterwards we headed to the highlands for a barbecue lunch. Two chefs from the Evolution cooked the food for us which was delicious. There was the opportunity to buy souvenirs from the craft shop with the money helping the local community. Further we ventured deeper into the highlands and wandered around seeing more tortoises in their natural habitat which was wonderful.
We then went to see a geological formation – a natural lava tunnel where we walked through an underground tunnel by torch light.
On the way back to the ship we called at Puerto Ayora, which is the economic capital of the Galapagos. Here there were a few bars, restaurants and shops to buy souvenirs.
There was a Professor of Volanology on the trip, and he gave an interesting presentation on the geology of the Galapagos and explained more about the volcano irruptions that affected the islands over the years.