What a way to see in the new year! I am over half way through my research trip to the Galápagos and what a wild few weeks it has been. From the moment I stepped off the plane I was surround by incredibly unique wildlife, some seen no where else on earth.
One of the things I have come to love the most about the Galápagos Islands is how unafraid the wildlife is of people. It’s almost like they know they are living in a protected area. As I stepped off the ferry from Baltra Island to Santa Cruz, it didn’t take long for a group of curious finches to come nosing around my luggage. It only took me 30 minutes from landing to see my first Galápagos giant tortoise strolling along the side of the road, not really paying us much attention at all. I think in total I saw at least 10 more tortoises on the taxi ride to Puerto Ayora.
When I got to the town it was evident straight away that this was a place where wildlife was king. All of the sun loungers were occupied by sea lions, marine iguanas dominated the streets and beaches, and pelicans and frigate birds gathered patiently in the harbour where the fresh fish was being prepared. As I had imagine, wildlife was everywhere!
The first two days I spent on Santa Cruz. On the first day I visited Tortuga Bay which had the most beautiful white sand I had ever seen, with a few iguanas strolling casually along. It was my idea of paradise. There are a lot of amazing places to snorkel around Santa Cruz and it wasn’t too long before I was swimming with sealions, countless topical fish and even a green turtle!
On the second day I went swimming in Las Grietas, a volcanic fissure that has since been filled with water. It was incredibly deep with a lot of large fish swimming around the rocks. This will probably go down as one of the best places I have been swimming.
The following day I booked onto the two hour ferry crossing from Santa Cruz to Isabela Island where I would be spending my days assisting with research. In my next blog post I will talk about my experience in Isabela.