Nov 29, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II
Today was a very different kind of experience than we have had so far on our expedition – a glimpse into local culture and science in the Galapagos. After breakfast, we hopped into Zodiacs and headed to the town of
After visiting the research station, we wandered around town to look at the shops and watch frigatebirds and sea lions steal scraps from the local fish market, then reconvened at a local restaurant for refreshments. From there, half the group visited a local school and the other half visited a farm. On the farm, we watched how sugar cane is processed into sugar and its juice fermented and distilled into "fire water." Then we enjoyed a lovely meal at a restaurant in the highlands. The environment of the highlands is unexpectedly lush and green after spending several days in dry areas.
The afternoon was spent in the highlands with wonderful wildlife encounters. Giant tortoises were everywhere – on the roads, the trails, the pastures, the ponds. We watched them lumbering over the grass and grazing. There were also some good birding opportunities, including a photogenic woodpecker finch using a twig to pry its meal from a tree crevice (an extremely rare sighting), and Galapagos flycatchers perching on our cameras. We also explored a lava tube.
The day ended with local artisans on board to display their crafts and a musical performance and dance.
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