Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos, Friday 11th December, 2009

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Click on the thumbnail to see a map of Galapagos, showing our route

Click to see full sized map.

We awoke in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, and the Zodiacs dropped us at the jetty. Buses were waiting nearby and we were whisked off towards the central highlands. As we gained altitude, the vegetation changed. Just as Socrates was talking about the tree Opuntias only living in the lower, drier levels, so we noticed that they were thinning out and quickly vanished. I think he's given that talk before!

Eventually we stopped at a pair of sink holes. These had formed with liquid magma inside, but this had drained away, leaving a thin roof which had eventually collapsed, leaving vertically-sided holes several hundred metres wide. We spent a while looking at quite verdant plant cover, though saw rather little in the way of zoology.

Back down in Puerto Ayora we were dropped at the jetty whence Zodiacs took us to a hotel run by the tour company. On a (mercifully shaded!) patio by the pool we gorged ourselves on a barbecue, while watching herons, lava gulls and small ducks taking advantage of the pool.

After lunch we went to the Charles Darwin Research Centre across the bay where we were saw a little of the research they do there. There is a website where you can check out what they do and support them if you want. I support them simply because they're the driving force behind elimination of goats, cats, dogs, rats, mice and other introduced species that are doing so much damage in the archipeligo.
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Sinkhole: Spanish Moss
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Tree with bromeliads
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Lava Tunnel
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Lava Tunnel
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Tortoise & Ani
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Unknown Plant
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Flame Tree
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Tree Opuntia
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Swimming Pool
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Great Blue Herons
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Great Blue Heron
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Lava Heron
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Lava Lizard
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Marine Iguana
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Lava Lizard
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Group at CDRC
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Tree Seeds
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Yellow Warbler Finches
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Land Iguana
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Lava Heron

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