The rest of the Galapagos! Predominantly sea-dwellers! But first, other stuff.
Our guide Luis removing a bee stinger from a fellow traveler’s arm. Her arm was swelling up and Luis calmly plucked a giant thorn off of a bush and picked out the stinger. Then he pulled a different leaf off of a different bush and squeezed the leaf contents on the wound. By that night the swelling was gone and the little booboo was almost completely healed. It was amazing.
A photo of the big yacht we were on during our time in the Galapagos.
The trail left by a marine iguana on his way to the ocean.
Some dead marine iguanas. As tempted as I was I did not take home their skin or bones. You need to respect the nature there and I did even though it was a struggle.
A stunning cliffside. Many of the animals we saw were clinging or perching on this cliffside.
A small grotto where pirates would hide their booze and other plunderings.
A rock formation that looks like an elephant’s head.
A plant making an effort to grow in the lava field. Nature is so great that way, always trying to shove life into inhospitable places.
Remember when planes had the “no smoking” light-up sign. I noticed that there is a new message in its place. The times, they are a-changin’. Not that that’s a bad thing, just a thing.
Okay, back to the animals I encountered. We came across a small island that that had masked boobies on a tiny blob of an island in the middle of the sea. There were other birds hanging out on Wee Blob Island but they all flew away in a panic as soon as a hawk landed. The boobies went nowhere, I guess because they were so much larger than the hawk. He was no threat to them. My niece Drea got some terrific shots of the boobies and the hawk existing in each others’ spaces.
Frigatebirds! You’ve seen pictures of the male frigatebird a bunch of times. It’s got a big red air sack on its chest that it puffs up to attract the ladeez. I also learned that the frigatebird doesn’t really hunt for its food, it hassles other seabirds until they barf up the fish they just caught and the frigatebird eats that. Frigatebirds are douches.
A shark! I saw several sharks on this trip but they were while I was snorkeling so I couldn’t take pictures of them. The only one I could get a photo of was this guy. They were all small white-tipped reef sharks. Very cool.
Booby sex! That sounds faaaaaar more interesting than you would think. We went to a plateau where blue-footed boobies were dancing and mating. They didn’t seem to mind that we were there. (Don’t tell the boobies I said this, but I don’t think they are super-bright.)
Crabs! That are not Sally Lightfoot crabs! We saw a hermit crab who I loved.
And some ghost crabs who I also loved. I love crabs, I really do. I love how delicately they eat and how they scuttle and their weird eyestalks that look like exclamation points. They are great.
Swallow-tailes gulls! They are like the tuxedo seagull to our jeans-and-a-tshirt-seagulls we have back here. I thought they looked beautiful. Luis told us that they are the only nocturnal seagull.
Galapagos fur sea lions! You may think I am repeating myself, but these guys are different from regular fur sea lions. They are smaller and they have a shorter, pointier snoot. They were almost hunted to extinction because they are so so soft and furry, but thankfully they are coming back. They still don’t like people, so they basked far away from us instead of coming up close and being all inquisitive like the fur sea lion.
An oyster-catcher! We saw one on a beach. They look like they have not slept in quite some time.
And the brown noddy! It’s a small, rather plain bird, but I liked it. It had subtle color changes that the camera couldn’t seem to catch.
Those are all my Galapagos pictures. Here are three to close out this truly magical experience.
Next entry: the last few days in Ecuador and then… done.