Oct 03, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II
As I am writing this report, I reflect on how privileged I am to work in such a spectacular location as the Galapágos Islands. Today we started our morning with an adventurous hike on Urbina Bay, with many wildlife encounters. As we entered the trail, we spotted a young giant tortoise from the Alcedo Volcano. After five minutes, we spotted another adult Galapágos tortoise and a few steps later two more! Everyone was excited as these encounters are possible but not frequent. Finding such extraordinary creatures walking and roaming on volcanic terrain is a unique experience. At this time of the year it’s possible to encounter an abundance of flowering plants, with yellow being the dominant color. As part of the amazing canvas, land iguanas covering the path, just made our adventure even more wonderful. We spotted at least 10 land iguanas coming out of their burrows to warm up before looking for some cactus to munch. After we finished this great walk, some of us decided to take the option of a mega-swim! We succeed on covering more than 1 kilometer from Urbina beach to the National Geographic Endeavour. Part of the great adventure and exercise, swimming such a distance in the Galapágos is also a great opportunity to spot tortoises and schools of fish that joined us all along the way. With such an active morning, everyone was hungry and ready to be delighted with an Ecuadorian buffet of various local foods.
After lunch, we moved to Tagus Cove. Here, the options of kayak, paddle boarding, and snorkeling gave us a great chance to enjoy the beautiful land and underwater wildlife. While snorkeling, we saw dozens of sea turtles floating, thousands of fish, and even two different species of sharks including the Silky shark and the endemic Galapágos horn shark. As if those wonders were not enough, we witnessed the amazing spectacle of a submerged marine iguana feeding on seaweed and a flightless cormorant pursuing fish. To end the day, we hiked to the top of Tagus Cove, where we enjoyed an impressive view of the volcanoes that form Isabela Island. The day is over, and tonight we will cross the Equator again to reach the central part of the archipelago, looking forward to enjoying more of the beautiful Galapágos.
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