Santa Fe

Photos Drífa Freysdóttir

Fourth day.

Santa Fe – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Fe_Island

We started the day on Isla Santa Fe. A modest climb up the lava edges led us to a plateau. The soil was bone dry and cacti littered the landscape. No leaves yet on the palo santo trees, but soon it will start to rain. We did not spot any porpoises but they have been reintroduced to the island.

Land iguanas were cooperative and we spotted several of those guys. One of them even smiled to us. Could have been gas though. However, this is a smile only a mother would love – sorry iguana.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galapagos_land_iguana —

I must post some more iguana photos – they are just so cool.

On returning to our boat in the dinghy we saw a sea lion that had just given birth. The hawks were monitoring the situation and momma sea lion was nervous. She decided to head for the beach with the pup in her mouth. Immediately the hawks swooped down on the afterbirth, and then it was total mayhem. The “Nature red in tooth and claw” comes to mind. Usually attributed to Tennyson’s In Memoriam.

Next stop was the tiny Isla Plaza Sur – just east of of the much bigger Isla Santa Cruz. The scenery there was just stunning as you can see in the picture below. This is one of the most amazing places I have been to. We witnessed restoration project i.e. the small cacti have to be protected until they reach a certain hight. The iguanas are vegetarian. The lava rocks someplace were turning white – called Galapagos marble the guide joked. The bird droppings will have their effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Plaza_Island

Isla Cruz Sur
Isla Plaza Sur

The red billed tropicbird was there in force showing of its aerial prowess. It’s a stunningly beautiful bird.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-billed_tropicbird

Next on the menu for us was to observe the swallow tailed gull. Note how big those eyes are – it’s a night-feeder and the end of its bill is florescent. For Icelandic readers – lundi (Puffin) also has a florescent beak.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swallow-tailed_gull

Next stop Seymour Norte.

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