Kathy/Mom’s post

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The plants

I’ll start here. The islands are very, very dry during most of the year and plants that live on the islands are adapted to living without much water. Much of the landscape is covered with a dwarf species of Palo Santo. They looked like short, barren trees with silver bark. There were also some really striking cacti. This photo is of an prickly pear (Opuntia) species of cactus we found in the middle of the path on North Seymour on our second day of the trip. (In the background to the left you can see one of the Palo Santo trees.) The black and white posts to the right are trail markers – visitors are strictly instructed to stay on the path – the guides can be fined if they do not.

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The animals

It is really true that the animals on the Galapagos are very unafraid of human animals. We were able to snorkel with playful sea lions – very cool, they are incredible swimmers. In this picture, taken on Espagnola, Sara was followed by a very playful young sea lion for the length of the beach. The beach was white and the sand the finest I’ve ever felt.

(This picture was taken by Alex and Caitlin – they said I could use it.)

And here is Tommy with a few sea lions on the same beach:

And Caitlin and Alex:

(The hats that Alex and Sara are wearing are traditional “Panama” hats made in Ecuador.)

The land

The islands are volcanic and this is obvious everywhere. We walked across all different kinds of lava – much of it barren of any plant life. There were exceptions – for instance this lava cactus that seems to come right out of the rock. it is a species that is unique to the Galapagos.


We traveled through the islands by boat – the “Estrella del Mar”. The boat carried 16 of us from island to island – mostly traveling at night. We slept on board and ate all of our meals on board as well. It was a great chance to spend time together with family – both ours and Caitlin’s. This photo is from “the post office” on Floriana. People post letters/ cards there. The letters are later picked up by fellow travelers who take them to their final destinations. We sent several. We will see if they make it to their intended targets. We had the great company of fellow travelers as well – Melanie and Scott made the entire journey with us and Sharon, Rachel, Sophia and Aliana joined us halfway. (Not seen here is Simon who spent the first half of the trip with us.)


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