Some adventures are many years in the making, but as Lee Bethune discovered, coming up with the idea to visit the Galapagos archipelago was one of her best travel decisions yet…
“Why hadn’t I thought of doing this trip sooner? As soon as I arrived in the Galapagos Islands I wondered why it had taken me so long to explore this incredible place. I felt like I was stepping onto a movie set of Jurassic Park, but it was real and I had to constantly pinch myself!
The Galapagos is truly a unique destination and a photographer’s paradise. Thinking back over the trip I recall the beautiful contrast in scenery, from red rocky to silky white sandy beaches, depending on which island you were standing.
Zodiac launching onto the islands was fun, watching our driver dodge the big sea lions patrolling the waters while their young played in the shallows. Marine iguanas were commonly seen sleeping and soaking up the UV rays while their relatives, land iguanas who are also endemic to the islands, preferred to snack on prickly pear cactus.
It was hard to control your excitement when you were snorkelling and only metres away was a marine turtle happily feeding on a rock shelf. Then the current gently moved you on with the many more schools of fish and suddenly you’d spot a white tipped shark sleeping under sea ledge only 10 metres below!
If you are a bird lover – you won’t be disappointed either. With an impressive array of our feathery friends, you can see albatross, penguins, finches and my favourite, the blue-footed boobies, and their red-footed cousins that are very attractive as well. Oh and I can’t forget the stunning frigatebirds, with their vibrant red skin located under their beaks, that they inflate during courtship to attract the females. It’s equally amazing to see them in flight with their wide wingspan.
I guess I do know why it took a while for me to reach this amazing place – it’s a big trip and it required some financial planning, but every cent I spent to get to the Galapagos was worth it and it really is an eye opening experience!”
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* photo by Derek Rogers – Intrepid Photography Competition