The Galapagos Islands, Part 8 of the Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru Tour

Finally we arrived at the Darwin Research Station outside of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.

We have arrived!

We have arrived!

Our visit there was fascinating as we saw species of plants and animals that we had never seen before. One of the animals we came to know and love was the land iguana, a reptile so clever that it has learned how to eat cactus pads and get not only fluids from them in the dry season, but food value from them as well. Land iguanas vary from island to island in the Galapagos. They can grow to be as much as three to five feet long! Here is a land iguana eating a cactus pad.

Land iguana at lunch

Land iguana at lunch

The major concentration at the Darwin station is the giant land tortoises. They too vary from Island to island with different shapes of shells and other remarkable differences. At the Darwin Station, scientists are concerned with preserving all of the existing species. There is, unfortunately one tortoise who is partnerless… Lonesome George is the last known existing tortoise of his kind. He was identified on Pinta Island and was brought to the breeding station in 1972. Since then he has waited in vain for a female Pinta Island tortoise. You can read more about him here.

We enjoyed seeing these enormous tortoises. Unlike what was permitted in the Galapagos Islands years ago, people are not allowed to ride on the tortoises. In fact, we are not permitted to touch them. The government of Ecuador takes very seriously the importance of preserving these islands and their air, land, and sea inhabitants– But we can take pictures!

Wow!

Wow!

My husband and his new pet

My husband and his new pet

and here’s something I thought I would never see:

Up close and personal!

Up close and personal!

When our tour of the station was over, we were satisfied and happy. We got back to the boat for a delicious kosher dinner and a restful night’s sleep, lulled by the gentle waves of the Pacific. What a wonderful day!!

Speak Your Mind

*

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This