Flag of The Galapagos

Arrival in San Cristóbal


Day 5 - 29th July 2013

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Really following in Darwin's footsteps

 

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Up early to catch our Aerogal flight to San Cristóbal via Guayaquil

The rainbow made up for the Andean turbulence (or an over-eager pilot), which caused a huge roar from the passengers after one particularly big bump...


 

 



Open plan terminal building at the airport in San Cristóbal.

We rushed off the plane to get to the head of the line to beat the queue for the park entry (on the other side of the partition)...









'Welcome to the Enchanted Isles'

The transfer took the form of a short walk from the airport to our hotel in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno...






Meeting the icons

A quick lunch before a walk via the town to Playa Baquerizo introduced us to many of the animals that we'd hoped to see in our trip.

Galapagos Sea Lion...


 


Mother and suckling pup...










Another relaxed pup...


 


The Sea Lions were happy to integrate with the paraphernalia of human occupation...





Sally Lightfoot crab...





The mature crabs turn orange, until then they are black. They plaster the waterline and seem to move away as you approach like the wind waving corn in a field...


 


I do love a good mural and there were plenty of good ones on this trip...







Fabian and a huge Opuntia Cactus (Prickly Pear)...



Sea Lions adopting some handy resting spots...


 



Very relaxed...


 







Galapagos Cotton flower near the National Park Centre...


 


Playa Baquerizo

We took a series of paths and boardwalks to a couple of lookouts, including this one which looked down on to a Frigate Bird colony.

Preening...






A Frigate Bird in flight, for me this shape was a sight that always silently yelled 'Galapagos!'...





Coming in to land...


 


Looking a long way down to a pelican watching a sea lion play in the clear water.

I did have a magical session snorkelling in the bay below when a young Sea Lion took it upon itself to give me a solo underwater acrobatics lesson for about 20 minutes...





Medium Ground Finch - not quite as showy as some of the other Galapagos wildlife, but very bold and of course very important scientifically...





Pelican coming into land...


 


To me they always look mean...





Blue Footed Booby - they look anything but mean - unless you're a fish...





History has it that Charles Darwin first landed in the Galapagos at this very spot in 1835

Oh my Charles, what big hands you've got...



 


Charles, Miche & I...





The sun goes down quickly at the equator and it was pretty dusky as we wandered back to town.

Surfers in the impressive waves...






Cozying up...


 


Posing by the bushes...





The local frigate birds and pelicans know an easy meal when they see one and mob a dive boat for fishy treats...





Meanwhile back in town the sea lions were still in occupation of the benches...



  

Next day - Day 6 - San Cristobal - Laguna el Junco

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D1 - Heathrow to Amsterdam D2 - Amsterdam to Quito D3 - Hummingbirds
D4 - Quito City Tour D5 - San Cristobal - Playa Baquerizo D6 - San Cristobal - Laguna el Junco
D7 - San Cristobal - Kicker Rock D8 - Floreana - Iguanas & Turtles D9 - Floreana & Isabella
D10 - Isabella - Trek - Volcan Chico D11 - Isabella - Trek - Sulphur & Sunsets D12 - Isabella - Mud, Mangroves & Tortoises
D13 - Isabella - Wall of Tears D14 - Santa Cruz - Market, CDRS & Tortuga D15 - Bartolome
D16 - Return to Quito D17 - Otavalo, Equator & Parc Condor D18 - Return to the UK