Darth Vader Tortoise
Trip Start Oct 16, 2007
83Trip End May 09, 2008
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Our first stop was Primicia Ranch, where we saw a few giant Galápagos land tortoises in their natural environmentSee video of him here.
We then transferred to Puerto Ayora and checked onto our boat, the Galápagos Voyager. Once we saw the boat, we felt really good about spending the extra money to go on a first class boat. The cabins are roomy (no bunk beds), with big private bathrooms with granite countertops, and wooden floor and trim. The two main decks have really nice wooden floors both inside and out. The outside floors are unfinished sanded wood, and it feels really nice to walk on barefoot. The boat can take up to 16 passengers so we had extra space since our group was only 11. We then had our first meal on the boat, and Shari took a preventive sea-sickness pill, Mareol. This actually wiped her out for the rest of the day and she was a zombie. No more Mareol for Shari.
After lunch we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we saw more land tortoises in captivity. This research laboratory is directed by scientists from several countries. Raising the Galápagos tortoises in captivity is one of their most important projects
We then walked back to the boat, and got totally soaked by the rain. The most exciting thing we saw walking back was the local fish market. The locals were gutting fish in a concrete area of the pier. Pelicans were swarming all around, and fighting each other for the fish head leftovers. We saw a pelican with a bulging fish head protruding out of its gull, trying to escape from several other pelicans biting it on its head. Another one tried to fly away with a fish head, and a seal attacked it and stole the fish head away. It was quite a lively event! We took a short clip here.
At 6:30pm, William gave us a briefing for the following day. We would be visiting South Plaza and Santa Fe Island. He said he would also be writing the daily schedule on the whiteboard in the main cabin. That night the boat ride was only a short 3 hour ride overnight, and wasn't too rocky.