Christopher Newport Ecuador + Galápagos

Tortugas!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Today we woke up at 6:30 am for our 7:00 am breakfast of watermelon, bananas, and cheese empanadas with guava juice. After breakfast we took a leisurely stroll to the Galapagos Interpretation Center where our guide Danny taught us about the geology and history of the Galapagos Islands. From there, we boarded our bus to go hike up the extinct San Cristobal volcano. At the top of the volcano, we were able to see Frigot birds bathing in the lake of the crater to rinse the salt water from their bodies. On the way down from the volcano, Danny showed us the three wind-powered turbines that generate 50% of San Cristobal's total energy!

Next, the TORTUGAS!!! We got back in our bus at the bottom of the volcano to go to the David Rodriguez Center for Terrestrial Turtles. At the center we walked on a path to see the 60 adult Galapagos tortoises in their natural settings. We even got to see two males fight! We learned that in a male dominance battle, the tortoise with the taller neck will be superior. We kept walking until we reached the baby pens. There were 160 nine month old to five year old baby tortoises. The youngest ones were the size of a tea cup. At five years old they were barely the size of a dinner plate. We also learned that the tortoises can live up to 160 years old. The oldest being 176 years old. After lots of selfies from a respectful distance, we got back on the bus and headed to the beach!

At the beach, half of the group raced to the waterfront while the other half went for a small hike up to the viewpoint where they saw a blue-footed booby and sea turtles. Once we were all together in the water, two sea lions brushed up against the group after a power nap on the beach. In between waves, we got to see a few parrot fish. We had a great afternoon of swimming in the clear blue ocean and riding the waves to shore. After two hours of ocean fun we went to a burger restaurant and rewarded ourselves with giant milkshakes. There were vanilla, chocolate, mint, Nutella, and cookies and cream. After eating our delicious meal, we headed back to the hotel for an early night's sleep. Tomorrow, we head to Santa Cruz for an all-day adventure!

- Steffie and Sophie :)

You can check out more trip photos here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/8eDMdvX8mXmMNTzx5