Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Everyone has heard of the Galapagos Islands. In October 2016, I had the awesome privilege of exploring these islands and the waters that surround them. Boy, was I in for a treat! The islands do not disappoint with their many natural wonders. Join me on a photo tour through the Galapagos Islands.

The islands, located 600 miles (1000 kilometers) off the coast of Ecuador, are famous for offering incredible experiences with the wild. At one point, the islands served as a stopping place for pirates sailing in the Pacific Ocean but today they are protected by the government of Ecuador. Species found on these islands are often endangered and endemic but you can still get fairly close to them.

Visitors hope to have a brush with nature.

When you visit the Galapagos, you do so knowing that you’re in for a pretty immersive nature experience. Hiking, snorkeling, swimming, and trekking are all part of the experience. You’re guaranteed to meet some of the island’s animal residents up close and personal. But don’t worry…there is always time to relax on a secluded beach. Just be prepared for curious local residents who might wander up to you.

It’s an eclectic and unique mix of wildlife and topography.

The Galapagos Islands play home to a diverse group of animals ranging from reptiles to fish to birds to mammals. Everywhere you turn, you are likely to see a creature of some sort. Not only that, the landscapes change drastically from mangrove forests to coral reefs to volcanic rock-scapes, to open fields filled with trees.

In total, I spent 5 days sailing from island to island and exploring what each had to offer. Our guide was fantastically knowledgeable about the history of the islands and their flora and fauna. Please enjoy this glimpse into life on the islands from my perspective.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Gazing out across the cliffs and to the sea on Española Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The sunsets on another incredible day of adventure in the Pacific Ocean.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The distinctive Pinnacle Rock on Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Walking along the red beaches of Rabida Island…serene and wonderful!
Exploring the Lava Tunnels on El Chato 2 Ranch in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Iguanas basking on a cliff on Santa Fe Island.
Birds Birds & More Birds

Birds are one of the most abundant species on the islands. They are literally everywhere and they’re fascinating to watch in their natural habitat. From Lava Gulls, Mockingbirds, frigits, pigeons, doves, and Darwin Finches…you’re sure to find a favorite. I fell in love with the Blue-footed Boobies and the Albatross.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Blue-footed Boobies settling in for the night.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A zoom lens will help you get this close to the birds. Remember…it’s illegal to get any closer than 6 feet.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An Albatross couple guards their chick…while an intruder hangs about.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A Mocking Bird with an angry face. It diligently searches for our water bottles.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The Albatross is my favorite bird. It’s absolutely beautiful.
You will walk…and often. 

The only way to explore most the islands is by foot. That means you’ll do quite a bit of hiking but don’t worry, most the hikes are fairly easy. Trekking across the islands is also the only way to meet the local wildlife population.  The views are incredible and you feel like you’re in another world.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Our group exploring the Mangroves in search of sea turtles and sharks.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
The husband, Alfred, drying off after a good hour of snorkeling and swimming with sea lions.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Hiking through a field of succulents.
Bartolomé Island
Walking and meandering along the golden sand beach of Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Hiking to a beautiful view of the “Blow Hole” on Española Island.
Wildlife Galore.

You’ll also encounter a number of other creatures outside the bird family. Should you decide to snorkel, you might encounter parrot fish, eagle rays, sea turtles, trumpet fish, and even sea lions. Walking about the islands, you’re likely to stumble into land iguanas, large insects,  sea iguanas, and yes…sea lions. It’s a veritable safari in the Pacific.

Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An encounter with hundreds of Sea Iguanas (also known as Christmas Iguanas) on Santa Fe Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
A crab rests on some rocks on Bartolomé Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
An inquisitive sea lion pup on Rabida Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Giant Tortoise on Santa Cruz Island.
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
Sleeping sea lions sort of just melt your heart. They’re so adorable! In the water, they will swim with you too!
Wildlife and Adventure: Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands. My Normal Gay Life Blog
I found a sea lion and I was really excited about it!

So what do you think? Does this inspire you to get to the Galapagos? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


J Harvey

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Wildlife and Adventure Exploring The Incredible Galapagos Islands

mynormalgaylife@gmail.com

In 1987, I was born. I'm, naturally, trying to figure it all out. I intend to enjoy every adventure on this journey and am always looking to the future to try to predict where I am headed...but mostly I just enjoy the ride. Photographer, business owner, entrepreneur, agronomist, "chef," uncle, and husband are all terms that describe me. - October 10, 2014: Marriage equality arrived in North Carolina (home). - November 26, 2014: My husband asked me to marry him. - June 26, 2015: Marriage equality granted to all US citizens by SCOTUS. - October 3, 2015: I married my husband. These three life changing events really influenced the creation of this blog. With the advance of LGBT equality in the United States and the world, people have questions. People want to know how, exactly, does a gay relationship work. Sure, there are plenty of stereotypes which provide unsubstantiated "truth," but I think it is vital people really understand that our lives, our relationships, our love is no different then their heterosexual counterparts. In other words, My Normal Gay Life is the chronicling of one normal individual's life (MINE!) who happens to be gay. I hope to demonstrate to the world that LGBT people are no different than heterosexual people. I'm just a normal person and I want my readers to understand my normal. About 90% of what I write is dedicated to travel because, frankly, travel is an important part of my life. The other 10% is focused on my relationship, friendships, career, business, art, sex, and troubles. But travel is definitely the most important part! Think of it as a continuous dribble of stuff that makes my life. I hope you enjoy the ride!

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