Trying to describe the other-worldly experience of visiting the Galapagos Islands taxes the talents of even a wordsmith like me. Instead, I will share with you a very small sampling of the hundreds of photos that we took on our five-day adventure. But even the task of selecting the best representatives from all our favorite shots of iguanas, sea lions, birds, tortoises, turtles, beaches, and bays proved daunting.
As background, we caught an express bus in Cuenca and headed back down the cloud-shrouded Andes to the port city of Guayaquil. Our tour package included spending the afternoon and night in a huge Hilton hotel, where we enjoyed the bounty of American-style luxury, including catching-up on world news. The next morning we were up early to catch our flight of 600 miles out to the Galapagos islands.
Our colorful AeroGal aircraft took us quickly west across the Pacific to the airport on Baltra Island.
Day One: We crowd onto a ferry and cross to Santa Cruz Island.
Our first view of the beautiful bay at Santa Cruz Island.
Our marine iguana welcoming committee.
A big, bold male bows to us.
One of the hundreds of beautiful Sally Lightfoot crabs.
The Charles Darwin Research Station: wildlife preservation and education
Our Galapagoan guide and park ranger: Juan. His love of his homeland was contageous!
Baby Galapagos tortoises raised at this station enjoy a cactus lunch.
One of several 500-pound adults living at the station.
Our rare day-time sighting of a Hoary Bat.
A golden land iguana.
Our red and white motor-sailer: the 60-foot Encantada.
Our dining room with seating for the 12 passengers. Every meal was outstanding!
Day Two: Relaxing on the rear deck as we motor to Floreana Island.
The Encantada under sail.
We explore Post Office Bay and some folks pick up mail to hand-delliver back home.
Exploring the long, dark, lava tunnel. Remember your headlamps for here! Abby loved her swim in the cool seawater pool.
At Punta Cormorant, marine iguanas bask in the sun.
We can’t touch the sea lions, but this one welcomes Abby!
We check out a sea lion siesta.
Day Three: Española Island. Juan takes us to see the Blue-Footed Booby.
A male whistles and shows off for a female.
A Nazca or Masked Booby.
A handsome couple.
Keeping baby warm.
Sea Lions everywhere!
The babies loved to nurse and were constantly calling for more.
Swimming and sunbathing with the sea lions.
A family portrait! (The best we could do without Jodee and Jonathan.)
Each mom knows and loves her own youngsters.
Rusty takes a closeup of this golden land iguana.
Young male Frigate Bird practices puffing out his chest for mating.
A big baby Frigate Bird!
Our traveling companions enjoy a scrumptious New Year’s Eve dinner.
We sail off into the sunset.
Some of our most enjoyable Galapagos adventures involved snorkeling through colorful clouds of tropical fish, trailing sea turtles, and swimming with sea lions. However, because we didn’t have an undersea camera, we hope to include additional shots when some of our shipmates send us copies of theirs.