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galapagos on land
Written by sophie et jeremy   
Sunday, 24 February 2019

Volcanic archipelago a bit more than 1000 km off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos islands host an incredible diversity of fauna and flora, in which some unique species. This fragile biodiversity is protected by a national park with very strict rules and high entry price.

marine iguana marine iguana

We then broke into our piggy-bank to come here (and left the car alone in Guayaquil), starting by going by ourselves to the 2 main islands, before enjoying a small cruise in the archipelago.

As soon as we arrived in San Cristobal, our baggage dropped in the bamboo house we had rented, we hurry up to the “loberia” beach, few minutes away. Once in the water, we bump into 2 turtles eating algae.

la loberia 2 la loberia 2 la loberia 3 la loberia 3

Few meters further, a sea lion hang around in the water before crawling onto the sandy beach, brushing against us on the way...

Here and there, babies sea lion call for their mum who slowly come back from fishing. They are tired and collapse on the sand while their baby suck their breast.

la loberia 5 la loberia 5 la loberia 7 la loberia 7

la loberia 6 la loberia 6 la loberia 9 la loberia 9

On the second island, Santa Cruz, more touristic and more populated, sea lions hang around in the city, sleeping on the benches and stairs all along the docks, and wait around the fish market for some left over with the pelicans. They don’t mind humans being around, and jetties are often closed because they are sleeping on them...

puerto b moreno 1 puerto b moreno 1 puerto ayora puerto ayora

After the turtles, we can see the giant tortoises, which can weight more than 300 kg and are unique on each island. They were close to extinction when pirates and whalers took them from the islands to get fresh meat onboard (tortoises can stay alive one year without eating nor drinking.

el chato 1 el chato 1 el chato 2 el chato 2

We cycle to visit the inland, and the lava tunnels. They were formed during eruptions by flowing lava. Some are few kilometers long and about ten meters high. There are also some geological fault filled with clear water and some fishes.

grieta 1 grieta 1 tunel de lave tunel de lave

las grietas las grietas la loberia 1 la loberia 1

One unique specie of the Galapagos is the marine iguana. Once a land iguana on the mainland, and now adapted to survive on the arid islands, swimming and eating algae. They are all black and exotic to sea swimming in the waves.

iguane marin iguane marin phoque schenic phoque schenic

After this first glimpse on the island, we hop on the cruise boat for a 5 days visit of the other islands.

grieta 2 grieta 2

 

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