Sunday, January 22, 2017

I Wanna Iguana

The Galapagos Islands are all about tortoises, iguanas, birds, and all manner of sea life. Here is a cute guy we found on the beach at Tortuga Bay, a 2.6 kilometer walk from Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island.  He is a marine iguana that eats algae, seeks warmth on the lava rocks, and snorts to rid his body of salt.


The walk to Tortuga Beach is long.  Surfing is popular there and several boards passed us on our trek.  Once at the beach we immediately were confronted with many iguanas.


Along the trail we saw many finches and this mockingbird as well as heard many bird calls.






Crabs of all worts were on the beach and rocks.  Somehow they remain immune to predators to get this big.


Iguana tracks were easy to identify.






The iguana's eyes were so black that it seemed like they were just empty holes.


At the end of the long Tortuga Beach where marine turtles do lay eggs, is the beginning of a lagoon surrounded by mangroves.  At this point in our hike, the colors of the sky and the water showed so many different hues of blue.


I tried to snorkel close to the lagoon's beach, but the water was a bit murky.  Jim and I rented a kayak.  In the shallows near the mangroves, we saw four white tipped sharks about four feet long.  Someone in another kayak asked if we saw a shark jump out of the water.  We  had not seen it, but looked when we heard the big splash.

  We did see our first marine iguana swimming; a sight at which you almost laugh out loud.  
At one point I got out to snorkel as the water was clearer away from the beach.  I saw an enormous eagle ray zoom by me.


A big boat arrived to take anyone back to town if they wanted to pay $10 per person.  We walked back adding up to about seven miles walked today.  





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