My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 5

As a recap, it has been the biggest dream of mine to go to the Galapagos Islands since I was 6 years old. I was incredibly blessed with the opportunity to do so this summer. This post will cover day 5 of the incredible 10-day journey. If you missed the previous posts, you can start the series here.

Day 5 (Santa Cruz Island): Today was quite possibly my favorite day of the trip. We began the day at the Charles Darwin Breeding Center. The grounds were beautiful and welcomed us with multiple critters as well as several Galapagos tortoises of all ages.

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This included the famous Diego, who single-handedly saved his species from extinction. Over the years, he has fathered more than 800 babies and is continuing to  increase that number!

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Here at the breeding center, we were also able to meet Lonesome George, or at least the beautifully preserved Lonesome George. He was the last member of his species, and scientists unsuccessfully tried to get him to mate with females of closely related species. He died in June of 2012 and was preserved by taxidermist George Dante of the American Natural History Museum in New York City. His body was returned to the Galapagos in February of 2017.

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Following the breeding center, we had free time to walk back to the meeting point for bus pick-up to the next location. I used this time for some shopping. I got little things such as stickers, post cards, and key chains. I ended the free time at Café Hernan, where I got some mango and black raspberry ice cream (it was delicious) and took advantage of the free wifi to connect home. There were only a few moments during this trip that I utilized the wifi present because I feel like experience is much better than technology. However, at this time, I was shopped-out and ready to let everyone know I was alive and well.

When the bus arrived, we hopped on and rode to Rancho Fortiz for lunch and more free time. They prepared a buffet with pasta and several other choices. I had been craving pasta for a few days, so that is the portion of the meal that sticks out most in my mind. It was delicious. On the drive in, I saw a Galapagos tortoise just roaming the grass, so after lunch finished, I grabbed my backpack and hiked all over the grounds looking for these gentle giants. Most of the crew were exhausted and decided to nap or take advantage of more free wifi, but the chance to see more tortoises is never an opportunity I’m willing to give up or waste. Sure enough, after hiking about 5 or 10 minutes, a Galapagos tortoise was just waiting for me to come say hello. She was a big scared, but allowed me to take some wonderful photos and selfies. Little 6-year-old me died of excitement a little bit during this experience. I was able to find one more smaller tortoise on the grounds and got a few pictures of him as well.

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Our next stop of the day was at  Los Gemelos (twin craters) on the island. They were massive (135 meters deep) and extremely impressive. There are really no photos that can do these justice. They were absolutely beautiful.

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Our final stop of the day was Rancho El Chato 2. This was my favorite place of the entire trip. We saw more tortoises here than I expected to see over the entire trip. I came to the Galapagos with an idea of exactly the photo I wanted to get of a Galapagos tortoise, and I was able to achieve that at this location. I was able to get several other fantastic photos as well. The highlight of the trip by far.

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At Rancho El Chato 2, we were allowed to eat guava off the trees there, which look really weird inside but don’t taste too bad. The tortoises love them, so why shouldn’t I? We also were able to walk through a lava tube, which was extremely cool. Because it was so dark, it was hard to get any good pictures, but I did get one that kind of shows how cool it was.

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I didn’t take very many photos of the food, though I really should have. It was truly incredible, so here is the only photo I took of the food, just to give you a tiny idea!

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Just one example of the incredible food.

Up next, Day 6: Isabela Island!

 

 

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24 thoughts on “My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 5

      1. They make great pets! Although, they don’t do much, so you definitely have to take that into consideration. I used to have one Russian tortoise who was my absolute life, but he passed away last December. Now, I have four baby redfoot tortoises and three box turtles. They are awesome!

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  1. Unbound Roots

    Diego must be one happy tortoise! lol 😉 What a wonderful experience you have had!!! I love your photo of the lava tube. I would have loved to to explore the inside of one. Geology has always been a strong interest of mine. Thanks so much for sharing your journey thus far. I really look forward to reading about the rest of your trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Great Galapagos Trip – Day 4 – Adventures Of A New Floridian

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