The trail on North Seymour is about 2.5 km in length and is rated as moderate/difficult, although as an inexperienced walker with a dodgy knee I didn’t find it too bad! It starts here on the lava rocks by the landing place. This rocky area was a good introduction to some of the wildlife of the Galápagos, as we saw our very first endemic species...more
Beyond the immediate area around the landing place, the rocky trail leads over mainly flat ground through a forest of grey Palo Santo trees and Opuntia. This is where we saw our first Land iguanas, and realised for the first time just how close we could get to the animals here. There is an interesting story attached to the land iguanas here on...more
The trail took us through an area where Blue-footed Boobies nested, and also Frigatebirds. I had been looking forward to seeing the former especially, as they seemed to me one of the symbols of the islands, so it was great to see them on this very first landing. Even more exciting, some of them had chicks! Lying so close to the equator, the climate...more
Our first landing on one of the Galápagos Islands (if you don’t count the plane landing at Baltra) was this one on North Seymour. During our week on the Angelito we were to get used to the landing routine, and to the differences between a dry or a wet landing, but as this was the first it was all new and exciting!
The landing at North Seymour is a dry one, on to lava rocks that were dotted with crabs. For a dry landing we were usually advised to wear trainers or tennis shoes, and naturally could opt for long or short trousers. Even a small boat like the Angelito can’t moor directly at the island, so to cross to the island we took the pangas or small dinghies. We wore life-jackets every time for these short crossings, putting them on before getting into the dinghies and discarding them in the boat before stepping out on to the shore.
Once on the rocks we all gathered around Fabian for a first introduction to the island, while the dinghies returned to the Angelito to await his call later to pick us up. This way the landing place is left free for any other groups arriving on the same island. Sometimes we did get an island to ourselves, but inevitably on others there would be more than one group there at a time, so we had to leave room for them to land. But Fabian was quite clever at making sure we didn’t get too caught up in other groups – for instance, we often went the opposite way round a loop trail so that we just passed them at one point!
So, our first landing completed, it was time to explore, starting with the rocky area around the landing place described in my next tip.
The Blue-footed Boobies are funny looking birds, but also amazing with their bright blue feet and their special mating ritual. The Blue-footed Booby on Galapagos Islands is an endemic subspecies (Sula nebouxii excisa) and it is common, with around 10 000 pairs.As the name indicate the Blue-footed Boobies have bright blue webbed feet. The bill is...more
There are two species of frigatebirds in the Galapagos Islands, the Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) and the Great Frigatebird (Fregata minor). There are about 1000 pairs of the Magnificent Frigatebird spread in 12 colonies, and a few thousand pairs of the Great Frigatebird, also in 12 colonies.The frigatebirds are large seabirds with...more
Land Iguanas (Conolophus subcristatus) are endemic to the Galapagos Islands and they can be seen on several of the islands. For visitors it is easiest to see them on Isla Santa Cruz (at Cerro Dragon), on South Plaza and on North Seymour. The Land Iguanas on Isla Santa Fe are a separate species. It is not known how the Land Iguanas came to the...more