Ever since studying Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, Galapagos Island has always been on many people’s interest. This October, I had the privilege of given a sneak peak of what goes on here at these magical Islands for 6 and half days.
Upon arriving, I’ve booked my Diving trip through Academy Bay Diving dive shop and booked my 3 day diving trip, one day in North Seymour and Daphanie, one day in Gordon Rock and one day on Florna Island. This is probably the best choice I’ve made on this trip.
Despite the water visibility not being perfect the first two days, we were still able to see eagle rays, manta rays, sea turtles, and many other different schools of fish which I can not even name. And on the Isle Floreana we were able to see white tip sharks and sea turtles resting in the cave. Swimming among them makes feel not how vulnerable I am, but also how amazing and friendly the animals seems to be, even the sharks. There were moments where I’ve gotten lost and search for bubbles of my dive master and dive group, the feeling is not only surreal, but it gives me a sense of serenity, where time and space was completely suspended not only in a figurative description, but in a literal experience in the middle of the nothing but toqtoise colored world.
After 3 days of diving we finally had 2 days of land tour, it was just as amazing. Our host at Casa Germania was able to give us a ride to the El Cato on the Isle Santa Cruz, it gives me a great pleasure watching tortoises here roaming freely here, most of them were afraid and stick their head inside when we get closer, but there were a few that’s brave enough that our presence were merely a distraction, their tortoise eating business is still as usual. After all, it is their home, and we are just visitors.
The marine iguanas are another specie that’s unique to the Galapagos Island ecosystem. At Tortuga Bay they rest peacefully in groups until people came too close, then they start spitting salt at them as a warning sign. The land iguana are suppose to be bigger, but since our plan for a North Seymour land tour did not materialize, we were only able to see them at Darwin Research Center, it is there I’ve learned that they were once extremely populated, and at due to human’s distraction of the ecosystem, they were almost on the verge of extinction. The shape of these magnificent lizard reminds of dragons in the mythical tales, the only difference would be spitting salt instead of fire.
We spent our final day on Isle Isabella, which is the only guided land tour we’ve taken, and probably the worst choice we’ve made after coming to the Island. The feeling of freedom being taken away is nothing short of torture in my travels, especially knowing that I can do it myself without the tour itself. But we did get to see Galapagos penguins and boobies, two amazing birds that’s master of swimming in the ocean.
Another highlights would be how friendly the pelicans and sea lions are, at a local market wild sea lions would be waiting for fish heads or other parts to be tossed, it looked like the chef’s pet dog, except it’s a sea lions. Pelicans on the other hands keeps trying to steal the food from chef’s prep table, trying to eat just about anything, including sharpening stone.
Living among these wildlife made me realize that it is possible for humans to be part of the wildlife ecosystem. It also made me start to humanize them as well, by putting myself in their shoes. After all, they just want to live freely and have a place called home, have a few friends they can lay next to when they get cold, have a mate and give birth to the next generation, and have fun during the day while living their life. But the bigger question is, don’t we humans just want that as well?