Apr 18, 2017 - National Geographic Endeavour II
This morning we disembarked at 6am on Urbina Bay, at the lower slope of Alcedo Volcano on Isabela Island. The weather was great, not too hot at that time, which increases our chances of seeing those giant creatures as they start their day.
While we were walking around the path, suddenly we were surprised by a giant tortoise, the icon of the Galapagos Islands, coming through the bush, looking for a place to sunbath. It was a pretty decent-sized male, probably about 40 years old. He was walking right in from of us, without any fear, and very comfortable with our presence. These creatures are cold-blooded animals, so they need to bask under the sun to build up their energy for everything they do.
Everybody was very happy to see this giant tortoise, and obviously the first time you see these huge creatures, it makes a big impression.
Later on, we encountered a colorful land iguana, who also emerged from the shade just as we were passing by on the path. These animals are vegetarians, so they eat as much as they can during good weather, but in order to build up energy for activity and digestion, as the same of they have to bask under the sun. Like the giant tortoise, this creature did not show any fear of humans, he just kept on walking as we passed alongside.
It was an exciting outing, and everybody had the chance to take wonderful pictures from all angles. Our expedition of the Galapagos is off to a great start!