Giant Tortoise breeding centre, Galapagos islands
Trip Start Apr 06, 2008
28Trip End Feb 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
Hostal Ingrit Macarena
Whilst on Santa Cruz we went to visit the Charles Darwin research station, where the famous tortoise "Lonesome George" lives. For anyone who hasnīt seen the documentaries about him, he is the only surviving tortoise of his species. They have searched in vain for a mate for him. Now they are hoping he will mate with a female from a species which is quite close to him genetically so they can get as close as possible to preserving the species. When we went he was certainly doing his best, chasing the females round the enclosure. Not bad for his age (approx 90?) Unfortunately he couldnīt catch up with the 130 year old female!
I am working Monday to Friday mornings at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre
Working hours are 8 - 11:30 am. The afternoon is free to have a siesta, swim, snorkel, etc!
The Galapagos are famous for their wildlife. Because they donīt have any natural predators the animals tend to be very tame. There are lots of sea lions (Lonely Planet describes them as "the golden retrievers of the Galapagos"). Also marine iguanas, pelicans, a few penguins and, my favourite - the blue footed booby
I am staying in the town of Puerto Villamil - the only town on the island. I say "town" - itīs only a few streets, population (of the entire island) about 2200. It is a very laid back place. The streets are full of white sand from the beach. At night, in the street lights, it looks like snow. Very odd!
It is currently the start of the hot, wet season, and it seems to be getting hotter every week. So far it has only rained a couple of times and, as yet, the mosquitoes havenīt arrived :-)
I have uploaded a few photos but it is painfully slow here and I have given up for now!