Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our trip to the Galapagos, Ecuador and Peru - Day 4

A close up of a marine iguana
We saw this ship quite often.  I think it might be called the Galaxy and be the National Geographic ship.
I love this photo of himself on the other side of the zodiac from me.  There were 14 other people lined up along the sides with the driver at the till and the naturalist guide at the back also.
This was our Guide of the day.
I believe this is a small lava lizard.  We walked along the board walk at the Interpretation Center where there were a few birds and animals to be seen.
Some of the wall within the Interpretation Center.  I took photos of some of the history information but none of them turned out very well.
A spider seen at the Interpretation Center
Another little lizard.  I am not sure what the name of this one might be.
This sea lion was basking in the sun in a boat.  There are many of these animals and birds.  They are all protected and so are quite tame.  We are not to touch them or feed them, of course.
Some of the boats in the harbor at Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on  San Cristobal Island.
My first photo of a brown pelican
A marine iguana from our walk in the afternoon on a trail with stones along it.  The iguanas like to come out of the sea and get warm while basking in the sun on the boulders.
A closer view of the Iguana
sleeping in the sun
I believe this is a red footed booby.  Correct me if I am wrong.  :-)
Blue footed booby.  I never did get a really good shot of one of these birds.
At the beach.  I was using my ND filter and had my exposure compensation set back a few stops.  The sun was very bright.  We wore sun block all over and hats, sometimes long sleeves and long pants..  I did not get much tanning but I never got burnt either. I did not put sun block on the edges of my nostrils and this area is still peeling from the sun burn.
Just shy! 
Another bad shot of the blue footed booby
The sea lions seemed to have a coating of sand sticking to their wet fur.  I call this one my sand abstract.
Marine iguana
Nazca boody
a baby nazca booby
This lava lizard is molting
Our ship, the Xpedition beyond the lava rocks and surf
a view of the rocky cliffs of San Cristobal Island.
Celebrity Cruise's Explanation of our activities of the day:

Kicker Rock and San Cristobal Island:  In the morning, at approximately 7:00 am we will have the opportunity to see Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido in Spanish) or Sleeping Lion.  This island is found off the northwest shore of San Cristobal Island and it is a massive angular rocky block, the Galapagos version of Gibraltar.  Its size alone is impressive, but even more interesting is the cliff that splits the rock into a narrow passage.  We will bring our Zodiacs down and we will circumnavigate the island for picture taking.  After this visit we will sail for the island of San Cristobal, arriving at approximately 9:00 am.  San Cristobal is the fiftth largest and the easternmost island in the Galapagos Archipelago and one of the four islands that Charles Darwin visited aboard the HMS Beagle.  Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is a city somewhat sleepier than Puerto Ayora which we will visit on Saturday.  The town is stretched out along a small harbor.  On one side of the harbor is a military base, and on the other side is the dock where we will disembark off the Zodiacs.  The streets are cobbled and there is a pleasant waterfront park with benches and nice plantings extending along the main street - Charles Darwin Avenue.  In the town we will have the chance to visit the Interpretation Center, which is financed by the government of Spain and offers a journey through the history of the islands from the context of man, nature, and conservation.  We will learn about the characteristics of the natural area that you have started visiting and understand the natural processes that have made the Galapagos such a unique place in the world.
Afternoon Activities:  Espanola Island  is the southernmost island and a favorite of many visitors.  It is approximately 4 million years old and by far our oldest island here in the archipelago.  Suarez Point is where we will land this afternoon, which is found on the northwest tip of the island.  This visit has a high concentration of wildlife.  We should have the opportunity to observe Sea Lions, Galapagos Hawks, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and a red variation of the Marine Iguana.  These strange creatures are found only on this island and are often massed on top of rocks for great group photos. The trail is approximately 3 kilometers long with medium sized boulders the entire trail.  The high intensity trail leads to the very edge of the dramatic southern cliffs, where an impressive blow hole is visible below and water gushes up to 16 meters / 50 feet into the air, similar to a geyser.

My travel journal notes:  Pat was up at 7:00 to see kicker rock while having coffee on board.  I had to sleep.  Breakfast and then our 9:00 am zodiac ride to the dry landing at the dock.  A bus takes us to the interpretation center where we spend time reading the history of the islands.  We walk back to the dock and shop a bit on the way.  I get a much needed hat.  Back on board the Xpedition for a scrumptious Oriental lunch.  Then we pick up our snorkelling gear (mine is not a good fit, of course)  I don't think I will be doing this after sitting in on the explanation of how to use this equipment.  Next to our cabin to nap a short while.  We go on the 'short walk" at 3:45.  We sign out when we get on the zodiacs and sign back in when we return. The short walk was a dry landing on the rocky shore and hike through big boulders - treacherous - but lots of good photos - blue footed boobies pelicans, iguanas, nasca lizard, sea lions, surf.  Valerie and Harvey on the zodiac  - to appear on the next blog post....:-))  We get back to the ship but skip the Pina Calada party and rest.  We next, go to the briefing on the next day's activities and then to dinner.  The friend of one of the ladies we had dinner with (open seating) had suffered a fall on the Long Walk and was not able to be at dinner.  Pat is not feeling too well and has no appetite.

We have had a week of some very nice weather.  I have not been out in the garden  much but have been spending too much time on my computer on the new site, Megashot.net and on tweaking photos, going shoppijng, out to lunch, cooking.  .  Its all good! 

No comments: