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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Thursday, 20 February 2014

Isabela Island

After lunch we returned to Isabela Island.




Approaching the island we spotted another penguin.


The Galapagos is probably most well known for its giant tortoises. One of the most significant features about the islands is the predominance of reptiles over mammals. Everywhere else in the world it is the mammal that is dominant. The Galapagos islands have never been joined to South America and are 1000km from the mainland .  Reptiles have the advantage over mammals as they are able to cross this distance on floating rafts of vegetation or wood and survive for long periods without fresh water. Tortoises arriving on the islands then developed differently according to the food source on the separate.islands. They lived like this until the whalers and pirates discovered the islands and took the tortoises as a live food resource for their voyages. The numbers have been greatly depleted over the years and breeding centres have now been set up on a few of the islands.  The tortoises are all micro chipped before being released into the wild. It is hoped that by educating the local population to no longer use them as a food source they will once again thrive on the islands.

Look at the length of their necks, making it easier for them to reach up and pull the leaves from the trees.

This one is showing just how tall he is.

'I think this one was demonstrating his skills as a goalkeeper.


A new hatchling



A couple of days later we visited Santa Cruz island where we saw the dome-shaped giant tortoises in the wild. There are approx 3000 living in the lush highlands and wandering freely across farmland.

















After visiting the breeding centre we were taken to a beautiful coral beach where we could cool off with a swim. The water temperature was about 25C. Very pleasant.











Of course you had to partake in the local drink - a coca loca. This was a coconut with a glass of rum inside. Delicious.












We were never very far away from the pelicans











We stayed until the sun began to set and then it was time to return to the boat for dinner.

9 comments:

  1. I remember once having to stop as a giant tortoise was crossing the road. It didn't seem to move much, but it didn't actually take all that long for it to get across. I wonder if it was hurrying? :-)

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  2. I didn't realise how huge they are until the photo of you and a tortoise.

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  3. The tortoises are fascinating and how exciting to be so close. And what a glorious sunset to end the day.

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  4. Cool photos ard story about the giant tortoises!

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  5. Having a great time from what I have read in the last two blogs, I've seen a gian tortoise at Burford Wildlife park, huge

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  6. What a fabulous adventure! Pass the coconut drink, please. ;))

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  7. I wished I had such a turtle as pet in our garden ! As lawn mower and tourist attraction !
    They are such cute critters !

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