Robin's Adventures

Costa Rica, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos Islands
A Triple Adventure

Unique Culinary Creations

Back on the ship after a full day of exploring, we were ready for dinner. The Galapagos Legend was not like other cruise ships we have experienced. It was small and more intimate. The dining was buffet with lots of choices and there was open family style seating. The chefs, however, did try to create some unique things.

Rabida Island

Rabida Island has dark red rocks and soil in many areas from the oxidized iron in the lava. Our trek around the island revealed many of our old friends and some new ones. We saw some great frigatebirds. Since it was not mating season, none had the bright red pouches under their chins inflated. There were lots of blue footed boobies, some stilt birds, pelicans, sea lions, and of course, marine iguanas.

Pelican Roost

There is an area on Rabida Island where pelicans like to nest. We were able to hike in for an up close and personal look at the babies in their nests.

Feeding Time for the Pelicans

In order to enjoy a nice warm meal, the baby birds stick their heads into the parent's gular pouch and eat the fish their parent has regurgitated for them.

Pelican Feeding in Action

Check out this video of pelicans feeding their young.

Galapagos Hawk

While hiking on the island, we came across a Galapagos hawk. He seemed to be just as curious about us as we were about him. We observed each other for quite a while before he finally flew off.

The Galapagos hawk is a good hunter with excellent eyesight. He can spot small prey, like lizards, snakes, and rodents, from high in the air and then swoop down to catch his prey.

Darwin Conservation Station

Port Ayora on Santa Cruz Island was an interesting stop because we got to visit the Darwin Station. This is a research and conservation facility that focuses, among other things, on the Galapagos Tortoise. Habitats were set up that showed the tortoises in various stages of their life cycle.

Galapagos Tortoises

These giant tortoises can weigh close to 900 pounds and be up to 6 feet in length. In the wild, it is not unusual for a tortoise to have a life span of 100 years. Their only natural predator is the Galapagos hawk who likes to prey on the young or newly hatched tortoises.

More Tortoises

The Galapagos Islands, discovered in 1535 by Spanish sailors, was named for these giant tortoises. The Spanish word for tortoise is "galapago."

Lava Tube

The Galapagos Islands were all formed by volcanic activity and it was easy to see evidence of that in many of the lava flows and rock formations all around us. On Santa Cruz, we had an opportunity to go underground and explore a less evident volcanic feature, a lava tube.

Lava tubes form when cooler lava on the outside of a lava flow cool and harden, leaving a central core or tunnel through which lava continues to flow. After the volcano is no longer erupting, the tunnels remain and provide an interesting glimpse into volcanic structures. This tunnel also provided a home for a very contented barn owl.