Today we woke up and were out walking before the sunrise, checking out the Pelicans and other indigenous birds. The sea lions are particularly active in the water during this time, which was fun to watch.
We are both very appreciative of our early morning and evening walks together, as it gives us some time to process the whirlwind of adventures we have been having. Each day, as soon as breakfast is over, we are off to a scheduled adventure, so this time to relax and reflect is priceless…plus sometimes we have some fun:
We were off to the Charles Darwin Research station right after breakfast, where we met our new guide, Patricio, who would be with us for the rest of our time in Galapagos. It was interesting to learn so much from him about the islands, the wildlife, the ecosystem and the people. Patricio has been a guide on Galapagos for sixteen years, having been a professional diver (who has trained NAVY Seals in diving AND been attacked by a shark!) One of the best parts of this trip has definitely been meeting people and hearing their stories. Here we are learning about the islands and how the ocean currents affect the climate on each island.
We also had an opportunity to see some new reptiles and turtles and to learn about how they are trying to repopulate certain species that are endangered…and even one type of giant tortoise that has gone extinct, but whose DNA was found in another type of turtle that is a hybrid of two different kinds! 😮
We saw tons of crabs and our first blue-footed boobies!
Mrs. Hesse was at first afraid to go snorkeling; she didn’t feel comfortable breathing underwater. With some help from our professional diver and guide, she conquered her fear. As we snorkeled, we swam over a huge school of translucent white fish and Mrs. Hesse even got to see a black-tipped reef SHARK!!!
The boat ride to Isabela was rugged. One passenger was vomiting regularly. We both did okay and were glad to arrive on the beautiful island safely. It was late in the afternoon, but we immediately set out to explore the miles of gorgeous beach and mangrove forests right outside of our hotel room, where we found a cave and some beautiful wetlands before heading to bed…another great day exploring!