Visiting the Galapagos: Don’t Touch the Animals (despite them being all around you)

by Sydney Kahl / Feb 12, 2013 /

On Visiting the Galapagos: Don’t Touch the Animals (despite them being all around you)

The sea lions were really funny, the way they walked, and lay on top of each other. They were so curious. On land they explored our backpack. In the water when we were snorkeling, they swam in circles around us like they wanted to play. We saw all sizes from small babies (the size of a large house cat) to big males the size of a cow. They hung out everywhere. Two were sitting in a small boat in a harbor, and I saw one jump out as we motored by. Two even jumped up on the wooden platform at the back of our anchored boat.  On the way back to the airport, several sea lions were taking a nap on benches. 

Reading the Local Paper in Front of Sea Lions, Galapagos

Reading the Local Paper in Front of Sea Lions, Galapagos

My favorite animals were the blue footed boobies and the penguin. When we were snorkeling off a sandy beach, a penguin made an appearance swimming all around us looking for fish, in very shallow water - less than a foot deep. The penguin was very small and swam very fast. It was hard to tell what we were seeing. The penguin moved much faster than a sea lion. We felt very lucky to see a penguin, not all visitors do. We learned they are near the equator because of a cold current that comes up from Antarctica. 

The blue footed boobies are endemic to the Galapagos, which means they are found nowhere else in the world. I learned this new word on my trip. Blue footed boobies have a funny dance for mating, which we got to see. The male moves his big, blue feet from side to side, as if he is showing off new shoes. Every once in awhile they flap their wings and whistle. The whistle sounds like someone blowing through a whistle. 

It’s funny to think that if people from the Galapagos were to visit where we live, they’d think it was strange and the animals are weird. They would think a moose was really different, with its big antlers. Unlike animals in New Hampshire, the animals in the Galapagos are not afraid of humans. The animals don’t run away when you come near, but our guide reminded us many times that we were never to try to touch the animals or get too close.

Sitting With a Giant Tortoise, Galapagos

Sitting With a Giant Tortoise, Galapagos

 

 

 

 

Sydney Kahl  is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.

 

Photos courtesy and copyright Sydney Kahl