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Day 146 - Galapagos Islands - Puerto Ayoro & Seymour

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 29 October 2014 | Views [262]

We spent the morning wandering around Puerto Ayora and touring the Charles Darwin breeding centre. Along the way to the breeding centre we stopped by the local fish market and watched as the fishermen cut up their catch, putting some on the bench for sale and feeding the rest to the Sealions and pelicans under and on top of the benches! 

Once at the breeding centre we spent hours looking at thousands of baby tortoises and learning that the once strong population of around 500,000 was now dwindling, with 30,000 each year reintroduced to the islands via the breeding program. So many of this little guys (who grow into really really big guys) fall victim to a range of introduced predators, including wild dogs, black rats and goats. Of course people have also played a hand in putting a dent in the tortoise population, many using their fat as cooking oil and the rest of them for meat. 

After some shopping time in town we headed back to the boat for lunch and then out to see the giant tortoises in their natural habitat further inland on the island. Althea, my little 9 year old boat friend and I had a giant tortoise counting competition throughout the afternoon. She reached 101 and I got to 100 - there were literally that many, let alone those we didn’t see. We also had a walk through a lava tube which was pretty cool. At the entrance to the site there were some giant tortoise shells you could climb into - I couldn’t resist and had to have my turn at pretending to be a tortoise. It was pretty awesome, although that shell weighs at least 80kgs so there was no way I was going anywhere with it on my back. 

We headed back to the boat and settled in for the evening, preparing to sail to Isla Santa Fe throughout the night. 

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