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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Travel With Me to the Galapagos!!! - Day 3 of 5

The first chunk of photos below are actually from last night.  I posted yesterdays blog (Day 2) before I finished the day.

As I may have mentioned before, this is the off season, which starts around the end of April.  As such, it's very quiet here.   There's still tourists but in lower numbers than normal I guess.  Only a few in each restaurant.

I don't get it though.  November through April are the hottest months...sweltering from what I've heard others say.  Sure, the waters will be warmer, but they don't get downright cold anyway.  And, it isn't like the animals and sea creatures up and move elsewhere...they're still there.  So, why go when it's very hot and humid, more people to contend with, and probably higher prices for accommodations and airfares?

I imagine it must make it difficult for the locals to make ends meet during the off-season May - November especially considering tourism is the #1 income source.  Taxi drivers don't have as many takers as locals have their own scooters.  Tour boats are quiet.  Worse yet, there's no place to go unless you can afford a $200 airfare to go to the mainland.


Water taxi's to shuttle people to their boats.


The seals have picked their spot for the night.


This guy isn't trying to get a better view, he's in the process of hopping up onto a nice comfy bench to nap.



Next day...Day 3.

This morning I decided to go see me some tortugas (tortoises).  There's a special compound where they live and a tightly controlled hatchery to promote continued growth of the tortuga population.

I hired a taxi driver to take me there...$20 to, $20 back.  It's about 12 miles to the other side of the island where the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado is located.

The road was in perfect condition, nicely paved, no potholes, and several miles of bike lanes adjacent to it.  The further we travelled, the landscape became more tropical and the more it rained.

Once there, taxi drivers wait while their clients roam through the sanctuary, then drive them back to town.

There's no cost for entry.  The GCC has created a circuitous trail where you can walk through the natural habitat and spot tortoises on your own.  Half way through is the hatchery where you can view kidlets from 1-5 years old, then next to it a walled in mini-habitat where the teenagers are placed to begin to aclimate to the natural environment before being released into the 'real world'.


Hard to tell their size from a photo, but this guy is about 4ft long.

Hmmm....I think he looks like Fred Mertz.
"Oh, now ETHEL!!"

This one maybe 20 inches.

The walking path through the natural habitat.  Lava rock everywhere.

Scraggly trees.

Back in the brush is a 'house' made out of sticks.  You can see the front opening.


A little guy (12" or so) crossing the path in front of me.
Mom (or Dad) off to the side keeping an eye on me.


Babies in the hatchery enclosures are numbered and their growth tracked.


CLICK HERE to watch the little goobers wandering around.


Many of the trees in the area are a form of apple tree, producing very small apples about twice the size of a cherry.  Very important food for the tortoises but DEADLY if a human eats them.   YIPES!!!  Watch your kids!!

This sign essentially says....
*  Once the eggs are collected from the nests, they are taken carefully to the incubators where they are put in the same position as they were found so as not to harm the embryo.
*  Then, they are incubated for 90 - 120 days.
*  After the eggs hatch, the babies are kept in a dark room for a month to simulate the process in nature where a newborn must dig its own way out of the nest that's been covered in dirt, sand, and sealed with urine and excrement....which can take 20-40 days to accomplish.
*  After 30 days in darkness, the newborns are transfered to the enclosures you see in the next video.
*  When they reach a certain age there, they are transfered to a simulated natural habitat for them to acclimate to their next world.
*  Whenn they reach about 5 years of age, they're released into the 'real world'.


Throughout the property are these man-made pools.  Notice the greens put out for them to eat at the rear of the pool.


I love scraggly trees!

CLICK HERE for a short video of the tortoises natural habitat.


This guy was in my walking path.  When I tried to walk around him, he ducked inside his shell and I could hear him hissing like a cat!   LOL!!





My dinner (at the restaurant shown in prior foto) of fried shrimp, fish, octopus on a bed of rice noodles.  Plus, a bottle of water.  $21

UH OH.....FULL MOON!
That's usually NOT good news for me.  I'm gonna go to my room and hide.



Hasta Manana!!

Dano

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About Me

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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