I have landed (in Ecuador)

August 13, 2023 • 9:15 am

We had a late arrival in Guayaquil two nights ago and were ferried directly to our hotel, which was quite spiffy. Here’s my room:

After a restive night, I had a substantial Ecuadorian buffet breakfast (lovely tamales and fried plantains) and we were bussed to the Guayaquil airport for our 1 hour, 40-minute flight to Balta in the Galápagos. And here’s my nice cabin on the National Geographic Endeavour II:

And so here we are, and we’ve already taken a two-hour hike and swim on the beach (“Las Bachas” beach on Santa Cruz Island.

Here’s some wildlife we saw just a short walk; I’m not including the diving blue-footed boobies as I couldn’t get a good photo. There were also frigatebirds and a heron.  These photos are severely de-pixillated because the internet is REALLY slow!

The famous marine iguana, the world’s only marine lizard and also the world’s only totally herbivorous lizard (besides its regular diet of algae, it may nom a few bugs here and there):

A non-endemic but native flamingo:

Sally Lightfoot crab:

The endemic Galápagos sea lion.  This one was uber-tame and came right up to us to inspect the humans. We kept our distance (two meters by law in the islands):

Today we have a long hike on North Seymour Island, with promises of much wildlife, and in the afternoon a beach landing (with swimming) at Rabida.

18 thoughts on “I have landed (in Ecuador)

  1. Great photographic record of what you are seeing. Please do not worry about de-pixillation. Love having these as is. In engineering, great is often the enemy of good enough. These photos are more than good enough for me.

  2. I believe that all of the species in family Iguanidae are herbivorous. There are also some odd herbivores from other lizard families.
    Looking forward to more Galapagos pics…I was there in 2009.

  3. Adore the marine iguana! Would love to see them all around. And the Galápagos sea lion just looks so laid back! What a wonderful experience!!

  4. Well, if this trip is to be judged by your first excursion, it looks to be a fantastic trip. Thanks for taking the time to do your travel logs, much appreciated.

  5. I did a live-aboard dive trip there on the Galapagos Aggressor about 10 years ago. If you have not been there, put it on your bucket list!

  6. The 2 meter rule only applies to the humans. If the sea lion comes to you, it’s all good. The classic move is you hang in the water, and the sea lion comes right at you, upside down, then dives just before contact. Occasionally the sea lion misjudges the dive, result is a big boop in the mask.

  7. I have almost that exact set of photos from my first Galapagos visit. Actually, I was department chair, but a colleague who taught an ecology course that included a visit to the Galapagos kindly invited me to be his TA. My wife and I made a subsequent visit as part of the “Cal Discoveries” program of the UC Berkeley alumni travel program.

  8. Jerry, Keep on the lookout for chocolates or cocoa powders made with beans from “Arriba Nacional Cacao: The Pride of Ecuador.” Unfortunately, Ecuador also produces inferior beans (e.g. CCN-51). You don’t want products from these.

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