Matt West travelled to the Galapagos in July. Here he describes some of the wildlife encounters he enjoyed.
On Day One we met the famous Galapagos giant tortoises. We were on our way by bus to a park where they resided and there in the road was a massive male tortoise - he looked like he was on his way to work!
The Galapagos animals are all totally wild but look like they are positioned for us to spot them. The hundreds of sea lions are totally un-phased by humans (as are all the animals) and are willing to be photographed from 6 feet away (it could easily have been less but we were very careful to follow the ‘No closer than 6 foot’ rule and definitely no touching). We were able to sit and watch a one hour old cub try and suckle his mother, while marine iguanas strolled by.
The blue-footed boobies danced their enchanting mating dance and demonstrated their call, exactly as our guide had imitated the night before! We also saw penguins, huge frigate birds, baby albatross, 13 species of finches, mockingbirds, Nazca boobies and red-footed boobies.
We all loved the water-based activities – swimming with some amazingly colourful reef fish whilst a shark followed our boat, diving with turtles as a sea lion sunned himself on the bathing platform. But the highlight for us all was swimming with the sea lions. They just loved to play, coming up to your scuba mask and pretending to talk to you. When we dived down deeper they even chased our bubbles!
Everything our wonderful guide promised we would see we did. Although I took over 450 photos (!), I was careful to make sure I didn’t view the whole thing from behind a lens and so have a head full of images too. Having travelled widely, I can safely say that my 8-day Galapagos exploration was the most amazing holiday ever!
Read about Tiffani Cave and her experience of the Galapagos Islands
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