I just got back from an amazing trip to the Galapagos islands. Besides providing the early inspiration for Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, the Galapagos is one of the most pristine environments left on the planet. It’s one thing to hear people talk about how the animals on the islands have no fear of humans, but it doesn’t fully prepare you for the reality of standing inches away from a sea lion nursing her young and completely ignoring your presence.
The islands are gorgeous, varied, and bursting with life. In places, you literally have to tiptoe through the local fauna. Snorkeling in the surrounding waters was equally enthralling, swimming within reach of sea turtles, penguins, sea lions, and an abundance of fish. I was simultaneously overjoyed with the experience, and a little saddened about how successfully humans have trained the remainder of the world’s wildlife to fear us. It was also mildly depressing seeing how much plastic had washed onto the otherwise pristine shores, likely traveling the pacific currents from Asia and the West Coast (the Galapagos is situated on the intersection of a few major pacific currents).
The cruise on the Celebrity Xpedition ship itself wasn’t anything special, but the staff were friendly, the naturalists were great, and the food was passable. I wasn’t really there for the cruise amenities anyway. Though I could have lived without everyone on the cruise getting sick (still recovering from some nasty virus).
All in all, an amazing experience. I took a ton of photos, and a few videos. This trip is likely to serve as the inspiration for more than a few future Flash experiments.
Here’s a few of my favourite photos. If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you can check out the full set of ~800 photos on my Picasa account.