The whole experience was absolutely fantastic though - yep it was nice and dudey a lot of the time, but that's not really a bad thing. Wildlife you had to back away from as it approached you, getting to grips with the seabirds, the finches and just taking it all in. I can't really do the place justice, and as a consequence have decided to split the next few blog posts into a day-by-day type of approach.
We traveled on the Beluga boat (thanks to a recommendation from one of Karen's friends), and lucked out with a relatively sedate group of 12 other people along with a great crew and Juan Tapia as our naturalist guide (fortunately he was a birding guide, leading for Naturetrek the week after we left). We spent 7 lovely days sailing around the islands, and then spent an additional couple of nights in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz just relaxing and taking in the lasts of the critters. So I'll start off with the first day, well the first afternoon (as we arrived late morning)...
And after having the safety briefing and the first of many top lunches, we sailed away along the north coast of Santa Cruz for a couple of hours - reaching Dragon Hill late afternoon. Each boat is strictly controlled by the national park authorities in relation to its route and how long you're given to land. Great for the wildlife, but for somebody like me who wanted to look thoroughly at things while papping away, it took a bit of time to work out the best strategy for each landing point!
|Yellow Warbler ssp.aureola|
|White-cheeked Pintail ssp.galapagensis|