Galápagos Islands: Part 5

Day 9 Saturday: Santa Cruz

Our last full day in the Galápagos was spent at Santa Cruz. In the morning excursion, we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora. Among many activities the Centre runs breeding programmes for giant tortoises and land iguanas. It was the final home of Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise, until he died in June 2012.

On the way back to the quay, we spotted the local fish market, which was very popular with the local pelicans and one sea lion. The local Galápagos lobster was available. This was served on board along with other local produce. I confess that I became rather bored with the lobster by the end of the week.

Afternoon saw us taking a coach trip to the Highlands to see tortoises in the wild. The venue was actually a private ranch, but we were assured that the tortoises were free range. The habitat of the ranch suited their needs and they roamed freely. Some of the tortoises were a little disturbed by our presence and would make a kind of guttural hissing, if anyone got too close.

Other photos from the day are here.

Day 10 Sunday: Moving On

Our voyage on Celebrity Xpedition ended as it had begun with a Zodiac ride. This time in the wrong direction back to the quay, followed by a coach ride to Baltra Airport and a flight to Quito where our cruise group split up: most were going home, but a handful like us were going on to Machu Picchu, and so we transferred to a flight to Lima in Peru.

It was a fantastic week, which I cannot recommend too highly. The food and service on board was first class. And, of course, the visits to the different islands were just magical.

Galápagos Part 1  Galápagos Part 2 Galápagos Part 3 Galápagos Part 4

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