Trip Start Aug 28, 2004
67Trip End Aug 2005
Despite the hot weather and getting up early to catch the plane we decided to vist the Charles Darwin centre, and were rewarded by being nearly the only people there.
The Giant Tortoise`s are the highlight here, with "Lonesome George" being the star attraction in this breeding centre. We witnessed some of these huge creatures trying to mate which was hilarious as they are so clumsy and slow with the females just getting bored and wandering off
There are several sub species of Giant Tortoises, who have evolved differently, depending on which island they live. Such as longer necks, if they have to reach higher for food and less protective shells if they have no predators. "Lonesome George" is the last remaining "Pinto Island Tourtoise", after he is gone, this sub species will be totally extinct, the scientists are ever hopeful that he will mate, but even up to now he has never displayed any sexual interest in the females he lives with currently (we have since seen video taken by a guy on our trip of "Lonesome George" mating. Which has got the research center very excited as it is the first time in 25 years.
Anyhow bought the T shirt, and found one of the many cheap but excellent resturants. (We had been led to believe that Galapogos is expensive, but not at all). We booked onto an 8 day trip, on the "Free Enterprise", a 100 foot yacht for 75 USD per day including all food and a guide. It is a bit of lottery but it turned out to be a good choice, the food was great, the crew were really friendly and very helpful if a tad silly at times!!! It all went very smoothly.
On the first part of our route we saw a "Minky Whale" which boded well for the rest of the mammels we were going to see
We got to swim with "Green Turtles", for such hefty creatures they do move so gracefully thro`the water and so fast when they want to!!! The Sea Lions are just so curious and want to play with you all of the time, they come right up to you and blow at you!!!
All in all a fabulous time made even more special as we were lucky to spend the time with some really great people on the boat and we got a bargain all round. It has definately been one of the highlights of our entire trip and adventure away. See the map on phoṭs to see our route we took, it was pretty concise and covered pretty much all of what is possible to see, it went beyond our expectations and more. when you expect less you gain more from the whole thing....