S: Galapagos Islands, January 2011
BC: I am so fortunate to have someone in my life who is not only an amazing Mother, but a best friend and a hell of a travel companion. Looking forward to many more adventures with my Mom
1: Quito, Equador January 21-31, 2011
2: Standing on opposite sides of the Earth on the Equator Line | Quito by Day...
3: ...and by Night
6: Setting Sail for the Galapagos | Celebrity Xpedition
8: Located at the central area of the Archipelago, it was formed through uplifts of submarine lavas. This island has a huge colony of Frigate birds. The males have the red throat pouches which extend to attract females. The females do most of the mate choosing and use the males’ inflated gular pouch as a way to judge male superiority (You can’t make this stuff up!). Along the way, we saw many breeding pairs of Blue-Footed Boobies (Not much else to do on this island, I guess). There are also numerous Iguanas and Sea Lions. | Sunday, January 23, 2011 Baltra and North Seymour Island
9: Mom Gets Chased by a Sea Lion
10: Blue Footed Boobie
13: Kicker Rock
14: San Cristobal Monday, January 24, 2011 | One of only a few inhabited Islands, we were greeted by friendly sea lions at the port.
15: Espanola Island is one of the best locations for wildlife and scenery.
19: The 3km trail led us to the very edge of the steep southern cliffs where a dramatic blow hole gushed water up 50 feet in the air.
23: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 Floreana Island: This was our first (and best) snorkeling day off of Champion Island. A zodiac ride took us to a rock and coral formation where we saw huge schools of colorful fish, many playful sea lions and a White -Tipped Shark
27: The afternoon hike took us to “Baroness Lookout” which overlooked the land where a mysterious murder of a famous Baroness and her 3 suitors died or vanished. We also spotted a penguin just off shore.
29: A bird lands on our Naturalist's camera
30: The evening got a bit wild at the "Ecuadorian Naturalist Party" where we drank and danced the night away.
31: Bachas Beach & Bartolome Island January 26, 2011 Wednesday | This crater-formed island is one of the largest nesting areas of the Pacific Green Sea Turtle in Galapagos. We saw a number of sea turtles while aboard the zodiac.
32: Isabela is the largest island comprised of 5 volcanoes that merged into one. The last volcanic eruption was in May 2008. In 1968, the floor of the caldera sank 990 feet within 2 weeks and in the 1970s the coastline uplifted 9 feet, causing the coral reef to become part of the island. Mom and I took separate morning hikes to each witness amazing scenery and wildlife. | Thursday, January 27, 2011 Isabela & Fernandina Islands
36: The 2 hour afternoon hike on Fernandina Island took us over amazing lava fields. The last volcanic eruption occurred in April 2009. This was definitely the land of the Marine Iguanas.
37: Hiked over more lava rock to find the famous Galapagos Fur Seals and beautiful blue pools of seawater. | Friday, January 28, 2011 Santiago & Santa Cruz Islands
38: After the hike, we snorkeled off the beach and swam with sea turtles, stingrays and a family of sea lions.
39: We visited Dragon Hill on Santa Cruz Island in the afternoon where large populations of land iguanas reside. We also spotted 2 flamingos wading in the brackish lagoons. Had a quick afternoon snorkel trip where I spotted a small octopus.
40: The Birds of Galapagos
42: Our last port was only the second inhabited town we visited. Toured the Charles Darwin Foundation, founded to promote scientific research and ensure conservation of the Galapagos. The Foundation incubates and protects endangered giant tortoises for the first 5 years of their lives, at which point they can be returned to their native island. | Saturday, January 29, 2011 Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora
43: The afternoon trip took us up to the Galapagos Highlands where giant tortoises roamed free in meadows, fearless of humans.
44: Every night anchored at sea, Brown Pelicans, Galapagos Sharks and Sea Lions would congregate by the ship's light in the hunt for flying fish that skimmed the water, tempting their own fate....
45: Farewell Dinner | Enjoying our Last Night with Newfound Friends
48: Yo Bob, I'm getting tired of all these tourists! | Yea Frank, me too...let's send 'em back to Florida
49: The End