For such an epic trip as visiting the Galapagos islands where you’re guaranteed to encounter wildlife found nowhere else on the planet, naturally, I toyed with the idea of buying a longer telephoto lens than my 70-200mm. I thought a 80-400mm would allow me to get closer to the action….. More expense, but it could be worth it. In the end though, it was a joint decision and my other half and I decided to make the most of the camera equipment we had and spend the money on an organised cruise (as opposed to doing the day trips we’d originally been budgeting). (During the trip I was also glad not to be carrying even more glass weight, my camera bag weighed 8kg which felt like even more during hikes.)
As soon as our plane touched down in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal, we could see what these amazing islands had in store for us. Without even looking, frigate birds and Darwin finches were just part of the furniture.
And that’s just what makes this place truly amazing… The iconic Galapagos animals that look so unreal and exotic on our television screens accompanying Mr Attenborough are simply part of the everyday scenery here. And they’re so at home that they’re not afraid of people, or being papped!
We cruised some of the eastern islands and had set times to explore those of them that remain completely devoid of human habitation. We saw so much endemic wildlife, did our best to keep back and retain the required 2 metres standing (and swimming) with wild animals and witnessed weird and wonderful volcanic landscapes that seemed more like the surface of another planet than a Pacific Ocean paradise.
The inhabited islands aren’t that much of a different wildlife experience either. You do get a heavy dose of tourists and the scene that comes with them, but generally humans and animals seem to live alongside one another quite amicably. In fact, both parties seem to try not to make too much of a nuisance of themselves and get along with their normal day-to-day business… which can sometimes be the same thing!
More photos to follow in my next post.