Galapagos Islands: More of My Favorite Photos

Galapagos Islands Fur Seals

“More, more, more,” was my sister’s comment on my blog last week. While I am hoping my sister means that she wants me to travel more, more, more, I’m sure she really meant that she wanted to see more photos of the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Red Footed Booby

Therefore, my sister, I’m dedicating this blog to you. Here are more, more, more photos…

Galapagos Swallow-tailed Gull

Galapagos Land Iguana

Galapagos Juvenile Waved Albatross

Galapagos Dove

Galapagos Giant Tortoise

And more, more, more…

Galapagos Sally Lightfoot Crab

Galapagos Masked Booby

Galapagos Lava Heron

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby

Oh, and thank you my sis, for all your comments on my blogs, for all your encouragement and support over the years in regards to my travels, as well as in life!

And one more…

Galapagos Vermillion Flycatcher

Sweet (and more) Travels!

Photos:
Fur Seals
Red-Footed Booby
Swallow-tailed Gull
Land Iguana
Juvenile Waved Albatross
Galapagos Dove
Giant Tortoise
Sally Lightfoot Crab
Masked Booby with egg
Lava Heron
Blue-Footed Booby with egg
Vermillion Flycatcher

Galapagos Islands: My Favorite Photos

Galapagos Baby Great Frigatebird

I was dreaming of the warm sun and island breezes the other day, as glimpses of springtime appeared. My thoughts brought me back three-and-a-half years ago when I traveled to the Galapagos Islands.

Galapagos Baby Red Footed Booby

A week on a boat, cruising from island to island, and while there is sand, water, and beaches in the Galapagos, it is really about the fascinating wildlife there – the birds, mammals, reptiles, and other animals that don’t fly away, crawl off, or scurry away when you walk near them.

Galapagos Magnificent Frigatebird

To relive some of those memories, I looked through my vast collection of photographs I took from this trip. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

Galapagos Yellow Warbler

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby

Galapagos Baby Fur Seal

Galapagos Blue Footed Booby Feet

In order, these animals are:
Juvenile Great Frigatebird
Juvenile Red-Footed Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird
Yellow Warbler
Blue-Footed Booby
Baby Fur Seal
Blue Feet of a Blue-Footed Booby

Sweet (and warm) Travels!

The Windows of Old Town Quito

At 9,200 feet above sea level, Quito, Ecuador is the second highest administrative capital city of the world (after La Paz, Bolivia). The central square of Quito is located about 16 miles south of the equator, and less that one mile from zero latitude, making this city pretty much “the middle of the world.”

Quito Windows

On my way to the Galapagos Islands a few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend time in this significant city. I even had a private tour guide take me around the Old Town of Quito on one of my days there. As we drove to Old Town, we stopped at a fresco mural which explains the history of Ecuador, and then took in a scenic view from a hill overlooking the homes, churches, and a bull-fighting stadium of Quito, all surrounded by some of the Andes Mountains.

Quito Windows

The church bells of a Basilica, near the main cobblestoned street of Old Town, struck noon just as we arrived. The Plaza Grande, several more churches, and a fabulous local arts and handicrafts fair trade market were part of the day’s itinerary.

Quito Windows

And then yes, I went to (the very touristy) “La Midad del Mundo,” the center of the earth, the middle of the world. A place where you can actually stand on the north and south halves of the Earth at the same time.

What I loved about my day was noticing the windows of the homes and buildings of Old Town. Each with a different paint color, most with balconies and railings of iron, and many decorated with flowers and plants.

Quito Windows

At an elevation ranging from 7,375 to 8,688 feet above sea level, and surrounded by some of the Himalayan Mountains, I am sure that Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, will inspire me to take photos of the windows of that city when I am there in October.

Sweet Travels!

More of my blogs on my photographs of the windows of various towns:

Mondays In Montepulciano

The Homes of Skagway

The Windows of Porvoo

Facts from Wikipedia

Waved Albatross in the Galapagos Islands: Lounging in the Grass in the Sun

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Awww! Isn’t that the cutest baby bird you ever saw? Of course, I say that about lots of birds that I see – the Penguin and the Blue-Footed Booby, to name a few. But this cute baby was actually about a foot and a half tall, maybe even two feet – larger than many adult birds. This is a Waved Albatross chick. And I was thrilled to encounter him!

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He was standing just a few feet from a path that I, my fellow yacht passengers, and our guide were walking on in Espanola, one of the Galapagos Islands. You might be able to see in the photos that this baby’s fluffy feathers were starting to develop into wings, so that one day very soon, he will be able to take flight, and soar for hours upon hours in the skies above the Galapagos. You might also be able to notice that his bill is turning yellow, a distinctive feature of the Waved Albatross when they are adults.

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After I took about a dozen pictures of this one particular baby chick, we continued down the path to a place where several pairs of adult Waved Albatross were lounging in the grass in the sun, many of them pruning their feathers. The yellow beaks are indeed quite noticeable.

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After I took about another dozen pictures of one pair of adults in particular, we continued down the path to a cliff so that we could watch the amazing flying of these birds. The Waved Albatross are considered “medium-sized” albatross, as their wingspans “only” get to seven and a half feet (that’s still about two and a half feet taller than I am)! This is compared to the “large-sized” Royal Albatross that I saw in New Zealand, whose wingspan measures up to twelve feet in length. Watching either of these albatross in flight is indeed a wonderful, powerful sight!

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After my time overlooking the seas below the cliffs, and watching the soaring albatross above, we walked back on the path, where we not only saw more baby chicks (very cute, huh?),

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but also a large egg of an albatross,

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as well as a chick with one of its parents, feeding.

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And then the ultimate that I saw was a baby albatross, an adult albatross and a Blue-Footed Booby, all together, just lounging in the grass in the sun!!

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Sweet Travels!

All photos by Debby

Galapagos Penguins: Lounging on the Rocks in the Sun

Very soon, I will be doing a lot more birding, as I head off to the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Here I hope to see the Galapagos Penguins (the only penguin to live on the Equator), the Waved Albatross (the only albatross to live in the tropics), and many other birds, including the Blue-footed Booby (an apparently clumsy seabird found most notably in the Galapagos)!

Well, I did it! I saw not only the three above-mentioned birds, but at least a dozen other species of birds while I was traveling in the Galapagos Islands. Success!!

If you have been reading my past six blogs, you have been looking at the wildlife that I encountered in the Galapagos. And, if you read the three blogs prior to that, you heard about the penguins and albatross that I observed in New Zealand and Australia, ending with what is written above in italics. Well, put that together, and I shall now describe the penguins and albatross that I witnessed in the Galapagos! Yippee!!

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Needless to say, I was very excited the first time I saw a Galapagos Penguin. It was when I was snorkelling amongst the thousands of colorful fish in the clear blue warm waters. I was told that we might find some of these birds in the area, so I was definitely looking out for them. I swam down the side of some cliffs, keeping my eyes peeled for a penguin, while still watching the sealife below.

I traveled around a corner of the cliffs, and there one was lone penguin, standing on a small rock, much like a very tiny island in the water! My heart pounded at the sight of him. He just stood there, lounging on the rock in the sun, as I swam towards him. I got as close as I could, still keeping many feet away, as not only did I not want to scare him away, but I also wanted to respect his boundaries. I had a waterproof underwater camera with me, and took a few pictures, with a smile on my face, as he kept standing there posing for me.

After my time with this lone penguin, I continued to swim towards another area near the cliffs, where several more Galapagos Penguins were lounging on the rocks in the sun. Again, I swam up close, but gave them their distance, and took more pictures.

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And then I just stayed there. I didn’t want to swim away. I just wanted to watch these creatures. No one else was around for these moments, and I felt so lucky, appreciative and in awe to be so close to these beautiful birds!

I was hoping that at least one of these pengiuns would dive into the water and swim near me, so I could watch this behavior underwater. But alas, they were quite content soaking up the warmth of the sun.

I finally swam away, quite content myself, of my time with these Galapagos Penguins.

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I saw only a couple more penguins here and there from a distance during the rest of my entire Galapagos trip. So it was really those moments, with the lone penguin on his island, and my time with the few that were lounging on the rocks in the sun, that made memories for me which will last forever.

Please read my next blog for my time amongst the Waved Albatross of the Galapagos Islands.

Sweet Travels!

Photos by Debby