Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day 7 Galapogas

For our final day, we returned to Santa Cruz Island to the largest city in the Galapogas - Puerto Ayora. This is the hub for tourists. The Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park Service offices are here. A large portion of the 20,000 population is involved in tourism.

In the morning, we visited the Charles Darwin Research Station and observed their efforts to conserve and restore giant tortoise populations. We saw baby tortoises around 6 inches and adult tortoises around 500 lbs. We also saw Lonesome George - the last member of the Pinta Island race of tortoises.

In the afternoon, we took a bus to the highlands to find and observe giant tortoises in the wild. During our hike, we saw perhaps 30 or more tortoises. Hopefully, I got some great pictures.

Unfortunately, this is our last day. Tonight, we pack our bags and, tomorrow, we fly back to Quito, Ecuador. Monday morning we leave for home.

I will ponder how to do a proper final wrap-up for this trip. It has been something truly special.

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