We got back from our Galapagos trip last week, and it was an incredible experience. First of all, we are grateful for the opportunity to go. It’s a pricey trip, and it wouldn’t have even been possible if our friend didn’t offer us her miles to fly there. The Galápagos islands have been one of our dream destinations, but we had reserved it for years down the road. We’re so grateful for her generosity and grateful for the experience.
LOOKING FOR BLUE FOOTED BOOBIES
It was almost the last full day of our trip, and we had only spotted one blue-footed booby, which was on a clear day right around noon = bad light. We also spotted a few flying in the distance, but nothing close enough to capture with my 70-200. I felt supremely disappointed because it wasn’t looking like we would be seeing any more of these bright blue footed creatures. They were after all THE main reason I wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands.
I was still determined to use what few hours we had left to track them down. We ended up cutting our volcano hike short and decided to rent bikes to see what we could find on our own. We were told that there were a lot of shorebirds and flamingoes that hang out in the Wetlands on Isabela Island.
We went out on all the small trails ending at different landmarks but found nothing.
On our last stop before we were just about to give up..
WE FOUND THE MOTHERLOAD!!! A blue footed booby colony!
You can purchase any of the above photos as prints here.
A few lessons learned on this trip & tips for your excursion:
- When it comes to wildlife and nature, nothing is ever guaranteed. It’s important to set your expectations. I was so fixated on seeing the blue footed boobies that I wasn’t a happy camper the last day. It was a good thing that we didn’t give up and ultimately found them, but sometimes you just have to let things be. I know I could have had a much better attitude about it.
- Expect a workout. You get a mix of paved road and sand, and it is pretty difficult to ride a bike through sand.
- Wear lots of bug spray. The Wetlands have SOOOO many mosquitoes.
- You may not have to leave the US to find them after all! After doing some research, it appears that there have been mysterious sightings along the California coast. Bird experts think this is due to a lack of food in their own native environments.
- Shoot with a 200 mm or longer lens. We had a 70-200mm / 2.8 L with IS. You will need it for wildlife photos.
- Go during mating season (June through August) if you want to see the blue footed booby dance.
For my gratitude list this week, I wanted to split it up into two parts. Lately, I’ve been trying to be more present and appreciate what I have here and now. That means wherever I happen to be and in whatever circumstance. When it comes to travel, I like to often refer back to the quote, “Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” by Marcel Proust.
My gratitude list during our Galapagos trip
- We got to see so many varieties of unique animals that we can’t find anywhere else.
- Learned to be a bit more comfortable snorkeling, and got to swim with seals and sea turtles.
- We didn’t have wifi available everywhere, so it helped us unplug and enjoy the beautiful islands.
- After four days of searching, we finally found the blue footed boobies!
- The magnificent views of the Andes and the stars from the plane.
My gratitude list for back home:
- We have our own share of beautiful landscapes and animals the Galapagans would be fascinated with.
- Warm showers. Oh, how I appreciate warm showers.
- Electricity is generally pretty constant and doesn’t go out.
- There’s so much more variety of foods in US. I enjoy the diversity.
- I can flush toilet paper down the toilet!
Fave gratitude quote of the week by Epicurus:
This is week 17 of practicing gratitude on my blog. You can see all my other gratitude practice posts here.