An Animal Diary special: Galapagos Part 1

How do I begin to write about how amazing my experience in the Galapagos was? I literally just don’t know how to, so I have decided instead to tell a bit through the photos, which don’t even begin to show how magical and crazy creature filled this place is…

GIGANTIC TORTOISES

On day 1, we went straight to a farm in Santa Cruz that has wild Giant Tortoises living there. I knew I was going to love the place when we were held up in the minibus by a tortoise in the road!! A massive tortoise that filled the whole road!! This place was particularly nice because the tortoises are completely wild there and so not living in a breeding centre.

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This is what a gigantic tortoise looks like…
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Wild tortoises are quite nervous of humans. They go right inside their shell and start making a moaning noise. I would also do this sometimes if I could
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Their faces are incredible, like little old men dinosaurs
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You know a tortoise has been around when there is a big muddy hole in the ground
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There is nothing a tortoise likes more than a mud bath
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“Stop watching me in my mud bath you measly humans… muuuuud”

IGUANAS

Iguanas are just ridiculously cool and there are so many different types on the islands. This first massive guy was just hanging around on the port as we docked to visit the island of Santa Cruz. To my Honduran friends… you really couldn’t eat him – he would definitely eat you first!

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“Look at my crazy feet… don’t mess with me”
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“I’m going to sleep here all day and there is nothing you can do about it…”

We then went to an island called ‘Cerra Dragon’ because there are so many Iguanas there. These iguanas looked different to others I’ve seen before in terms of their colour and generally looking like dragons more than a species from this planet. We came across a couple in… ahem… the act of love…

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He was waiting patiently to have his way with her, while she just sat looking a bit bored at the idea of it all
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“Should I shag her infront of all these humans…? Is that romantic…?”
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“I’m going to give it a go and see what she does…”
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“Oh wait she’s fallen asleep… darn”
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“Maybe it’s my weird mouldy neck that put her off… girls are so judgemental”
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He gave her an affectionate lick on the belly before he left to go and munch on some leaves. The sex life of an iguana.
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This is a picture of her hand… look how handlike it is. Iguanas are crazy.

And I finish this section on iguanas with a new boyband set up by the galapagos iguana community… (I don’t take credit for the name)

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Iggy Pop

SEALIONS

How has this post got this far without a mention of a sealion?? Sea lions are everywhere in the Galapagos and there are generally really friendly and not at all afraid of humans. When you are snorkeling, they will come and play with you in the sea – dancing around in the middle of a group and nearly coming right up to your mask. When you are lying on the beach, they may well be right next to you along with a few sneezes and fishy farts. I spent a morning sitting right next to a baby suckling it’s mum. It’s very important not to touch them though, even though it is very tempting as they seem like big sea dogs… but the smell of human means their group would no longer recognise them and they wouldn’t survive – especially a baby.

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“Oh hi there, I’m insanely cute”
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They always look so proud basking in the sun
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It is so tiring being a sea lion… catching fish all night, sleeping all day
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Comfy sand

These next photos are from the family beach day… where we spent the morning hanging on the beach while the family of sealions frollicked around us.

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Baby having breakfast
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This baby was insanely big to still be suckling… bigger than it’s mum. If this was a human in the UK there would be a feature on this morning with a debate about it.
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Having a scratch
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Big daddy
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Another family member comes running out of the sea and up the beach
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“Mummy, there is sand in my milk”
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Big daddy is so proud even though he’s totally covered himself in sand and is more than a bit uncomfortable
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… So proud

PENGUINS

Penguins are pretty difficult to photograph as they a really quick and jump into the water at the first sign of a tourist paparazzi. However, I got lucky on one day and I’m so glad for that as they are super cute…

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“This is my rock”
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Galapagos penguin enjoying the sun
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They are cute but do have slightly crazy red eyes…
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Having a clean
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“What you lookin’ at stoopid humans??”

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SCARY RED-EYED SEA BIRDS

These are like seagulls but with menacing red eyes. We were told the name, but I prefer my name for them it’s more fitting…

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At first glance, maybe just looks like a cute seagull like bird with cute red feet…
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But no – look at the crazy eyes!!

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Dear Darwin… why did these birds evolve with crazy red eyes? Is it a fashion statement, or an ode to a rock band? Please respond with haste…
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Eventually he just got really upset about everything I said about his eyes, and cried/ went to sleep

CRABS

There are lots of menacing looking red crabs on the beaches. They are called Sally Light Footed Crabs for some reason and their colours look pretty impressive next to the black volcanic rocks.

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Sally Light Footed Crab staring competition
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Look at the eyes… you just can’t trust a creature with eyes like this…
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Beautiful colours. They really stand out on the rocks, but their babies are black, which is way more clever.

This is the end of part one of a potentially pretty long series of photos… I haven’t even really started and these aren’t yet my favourites. Flamingos, Turtles, Frigate Birds, Blue Footed Boobies, more Tortoises, Lizards, Fur sea lions, Pelicans… etc etc… A LOT more to come….

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