After spending a little time on the beach, photographing the sea lions against the strikingly coloured backdrop, we followed a path through the pale Palo Santo trees. The trail here is just one km in length, and is rated easy / moderate, as it involves a little bit of climbing but is generally easy going with a red gravel-type surface. The redness...more
The trail we had been following through the Palo Santo led us next to another even more spectacular viewpoint on the cliffs where the contrasting colours of red rock, green Opuntia , blue sky and turquoise sea made for great photo opportunities. In the distance was Santiago, where we had spent the morning. There were various sea birds fishing off...more
Rabida’s small red beach is lined with mangrove trees, and behind the first of these lies a saltwater lagoon. In the past this has been home to flamingos, but none were to be seen on our visit, and Fabian explained that it was likely that they’d been driven away by the groups of bachelor Galápagos sea lions who have chosen this spot as a place to...more
Rabida lies immediately south of Santiago, and we came here directly from James Bay where we had spent the morning, arriving in time for an early lunch with a backdrop of this striking red island.
There is just one visitor site here and a visit here begins with a wet landing on the island’s only beach, which is dramatically red. As usual there was a welcoming committee of Galápagos sea lions, but I think maybe they too had just had lunch, as they were pretty sleepy and uninterested in the two-legged visitors disembarking from the pangas nearby! But they made great foreground interest for our first photos here. We also saw some shore birds such as oyster-catchers, and there were frigatebirds wheeling overhead
This was the one day when I chose to wear sandals for the wet landing, rather than wade ashore bare-footed and dry off on the beach before putting on socks and trainers. This was partly because Fabian had recommended sandals rather than his usual “tennis shoes” (I think the red sand here is a little grittier and less comfortable than the soft white sand in many other places), and partly because I had carried them all this way and I was determined to wear them at least once! But it proved to be a slight mistake – the grit of the beach continued for much of the path and found its way easily inside the sandals, and in addition, being unused to wearing them, I had forgotten to put suntan lotion on my feet and they reddened rather in the bright sun we had for part of our walk.
Anyway, the sandals did mean that I was quickly ready for to hit the trail through the palo santo trees.
The Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus wollebaeki) is an endemic subspecies. It is common, and there is a population of about 50 000 Sea Lions in the Galapagos Islands. They can be seen in many places near the shores, on beaches, on the rocks or even in the towns, and don’t be surprised if you get surrounded by playful sea lions while...more
When Charles Darwin visited Galapagos Islands in 1835 he noticed that the Mockingbirds looked a bit different on different islands, and that is something that influenced his thoughts of evolution. There are four different species of Mockingbirds and they are all endemic. One is the Charles (Floreana) Mockingbird an endangered species that can only...more
During my two visits to Galapagos Islands I have only seen one scorpion and that was a yellow scorpion, Hadruroides lunatus, which we saw on Isla Rábida. This is not an endemic species and it can be found on many of the larger islands in the archipelago, except Genovesa, Marchena, Pinta and Española. In the Galapagos Islands there is also an...more