Caresse's 2007 Adventure to Ecuador and Peru travel blog

Standing on the lava

Post office bay

Favourite spot on the boat

Giant land tortoise at Charles Darwin Research Centre

Giant tortoise in the wild

Just the tortoise and me

Inside of a giant tortoise shell

Swallow tailed night gull

Male great frigate bird

Dry volcanic landscape

Lava heron searching for crabs

Sombrero chino aka China hat volcano

Blue footed booby

View from Bartolome island

This batch of photos includes some pictures of captive tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Centre on Santa Cruz Island as well as some wild tortoises in the lush green highlands also on Santa Cruz. Most of the tortoises we saw were 60 or 70 years old, but they can live much longer. There used to be about 50,000 tortoises in the wild, but they were slaughtered in huge numbers for their meat and oil when the islands were first colonized. They were also captured by sailors and stacked in the hulls of their ships where they could live for up to a year without food or water. This gave the sailors a constant source of fresh meat during their long explorations. Now there's only about 3,000 remaining in the wild.

There's also a photo of me at post office bay on Floreana Island. There has been a barrel here, replaced many times, since the 18th century that has been used as a post office. You drop in your post card without a stamp and then other travelers go through the mail and pick up any that's nearby their home or upcoming travels. Jen and I picked up several postcards for the Vancouver area. Often the postcards make it home faster than if you've sent them through an offical post office.

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