May 2014 Galapagos Islands trip
Our 6-day, 5-night tour of the 5 western islands.
We spent the first 2 nights in Quito, at the beautiful Swisshotel.
View from the 6th floor of the Swisshotel.
Pat's cousin, Marian and her husband, Fred, me, and Pat.
At the equator!
Pat with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern hemisphere at Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the Earth).
Gene, staddling the equator.
Iglesia de San Francisco
Ready to enjoy a typical Ecuadorian lunch in Old City Quito.
Pat in a Quito plaza.
Basillica del Voto National
Our ship, MV Santa Cruz. 82 passengers were on board for this trip.
Our landings, some wet and some dry, were from a Zodiac, an inflatable, hard bottomed, power boat.
Maricarmen (Mari), our guide for the week. She was very knowledgeable of the Galapagos Islands.
A sleepy sea Lion.
A land iguana munching on some green vegetation.
A frigatebird displaying to attract a mate.
Pat, with a frigatebird in the background.
A female frigatebird in flight.
A blue footed boobie on her eggs.
A male blue footed boobie tries to impress a female.
A boobie taking a swim. They dive for fish like an arrow coming straight down.
A Galapagos dove. It was scurrying along so fast, I couldn't get a good shot.
A marine iguana climbing out of the ocean.
A lava tube that was exposed when the cliff broke off into the ocean.
A bunch of marine iguanas get some sun before heading back into the water to browse for seaweed.
Galapagos fur seals relax on the rocks.
A pretty shoreline of one of the islands.
A marine iguana poses for his portrait.
A pair of Galapagos hawks surveying the island.
A female lava lizard.
A male lava lizard. Lava lizards were a very common sight.
A pretty, male yellow warbler.
A green sea turtle comes up for a breath of air.
A Galapagos banded racer. A non-poisonous constrictor that feeds mostly on lava lizards.
A pretty "Sally Lightfoot" crab.
A large male sea lion tries to woo a female.
The crabs scurry over some resting marine iguanas.
The beach-master surveys his realm. He's ignored completely by the lounging marine iguanas.
A baby sea lion nurses. They do this for about 1 1/2 years. The guy looks pretty big for that.
A lava lizard hunts for flies on a resting marine iguana.
Female yellow warbler.
Me and Pat above Darwin Pond, with the Santa Cruz anchored in the background.
A Galapagos finch.
A Galapagos flightless cormorant drying it's wings.
A cute little Galapagos penguin.
Yellow warbler - female.
A Galapagos mockingbird.
One morning, we visited the Darwin research center on Santa Cruz Island.
A baby tortoise at the center which is almost ready for release on one of the islands.
Tortoises are bred at the center, but this guy needs some training.
We visited a sugar farm where sugar and moonshine is made. Here the farmer is showing how to test alcohol content from the still.
Thowing the contents of the vial into the fire demonstrates how volatile it is.
A barn owl rests in the ceiling of one of the farmer's buildings.
A wild, giant tortoise.
Pat and I admire this big fellow.
A giant tortoise shares his puddle with a duck.
Munching some grass.
We visited the "Galapagos Post Office".
The cards and letters are kept in this barrel and visitors search to see if there are any they can hand deliver. We left a card and hope it will get delivered sometime.
About 20 guests took the 10 meter jump off the ship one day. I didn't feel like changing into my bathing suit.
That evening, the sharks swarmed around the ship.
A couple of small islands.
One day we took the glass-bottom boat over the coral reef. Pat and I snorkled twice during the trip.
A seal climbs out of the sea, onto the rocks.
This pelican posed nicely for me.
A Galapagos lava heron. It looks similar to our green heron. We also saw great blue herons.
Our last night was spent at the beautiful "Casa d Campo Tababela" boutique hotel. The grounds and buildings were stunning.