Cruising Around the Galapagos: Part 2 – Western Isabela Island

Lava rocks, pink flamingos, iguanas and wildlife all around.
This is what I came to the Galapagos for.

To be honest, the Galapagos wasn’t as abundant in wildlife as I had expected or as many different varieties of animals. However, once I got around to the western side of Isabela and to Fernandina I knew that was the reason I took this particular cruise itinerary. It was going to be good.

Even the landscapes were unusual and different to elsewhere.

Cactus amongst rocks on Isabela Island (Western side)

Cactus amongst rocks on Isabela Island (Western side)

Lava rocks, Isabela Island

Lava rocks, Isabela Island

Lava rocks, Isabela Island

Lava rocks, Isabela Island

First stop on day 4 was a spot on Isabela Island where we walked around on lava rocks hunting out pink flamingos in the odd water hole amongst the lava rocks. It felt so unusual to see these green ponds with vegetation amongst such dark black rough rocks. We eventually found the flamingos and were very pleased to see them at peace, eating, cleaning, flapping about and sticking their bums up in the air as they looked under the water for food.

Flamingos, Isabela Island

Flamingos, Isabela Island

Flamingos, Isabela Island Flamingos, Isabela Island

Next up was some snorkelling…

It was a bit rough near Isabela, but it was one of the best spots for most people. They saw all sorts, from sharks, sting rays, turtles, penguins etc. Whereas, for me it was the worst spot. Just a moment after someone had mentioned to watch out for the huge sea urchins with big spikes the water pushed me towards them as I tried to snorkel away. The result was a sea urchin breaking off through the top of my flipper in several places. I was in absolute pain after only about 10 minutes in the water. I was taken back to the boat and after me getting my own medical kit out, the crew had a go at getting the spikes (8 or so) out with my needle. A few of the other people on the tour proceeded to have another go after lunch with tweezers. Less be said, it was very painful. With holes mainly on one foot (one spike on the other) I was careful, but it really hurt walking for the next few days. The flippers for snorkelling also proved problematic and I only really had one good snorkel after that. Even now (writing this 3 weeks later) I’m considering whether the painful lump on my foot is still healing or if I should go to a doctor in case it’s still got part of a spike in it. However, I don’t imagine explaining a sea urchin spike in Spanish will be easy…

Land Iguana, Isabela Island

Land Iguana, Isabela Island

Anyway, the afternoon walk was pretty easy on my foot and we saw tortoises roaming free and lots of colourful land iguanas on the western side of Isabela Island.

Land Iguana, Isabela Island

Land Iguana, Isabela Island

Land Iguana, Isabela Island

Land Iguana, Isabela Island Tortoise, Isabela Island

Tortoise (free to roam), Isabela Island

Tortoise (free to roam), Isabela Island

Tortoise, Isabela Island

The wildlife on the cruise was finally heating up! It was still great fun on the boat and the landscapes were stunning.

View from the cruise boat (we dodged rain the entire way)

View from the cruise boat (we dodged rain the entire way)

Note: Part 2 and 3 resulted in so many photographs, so stay tuned for Part 3 very soon with lots more from Day 5 – Fernandina!

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