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Thursday, September 27, 2012 – Isabela Island.
After breakfast we boarded the pangas for the run into Puerto Villamil, where we were met by a small bus to go to the Highlands. We had decided the night before not to climb the volcano, since we were unlikely to have a view because of the mist. It would be a long muddy climb for nothing. However, we did hope to see the elusive vermillion flycatcher. Pepe warned us that it would just be a “speck of red”. I was the lucky one looking in the right direction at the right moment and wonder of wonders, when we backed up it was still there! Larry and Heather both got good photos before it flew away. We also stopped to get a good look at and photos of the angel’s trumpet or datura flower. Back at the dock we got a really good look at a tiger ray. On the way back to the boat in the pangas we saw another ray, and a group of penguins on a small island with a blue-footed booby. At lunch (which was after the delicious morning snack) we had a cantaloupe carved in the shape of a swan. Very pretty. Back on the island after lunch, we headed straight for the tortoise centre. We saw several kinds of tortoises from different volcanos on the islands being raised to about age 5, when they’re carefully returned to their places of origin. Others stay at the centre for breeding. This is all necessary because introduced predators make it almost impossible for the young to survive in the wild. Near the centre we saw many flamingos in a lagoon. They were closer than the others we had seen, and shared space with gallinules and other birds. We wandered through the town and met up with most of the others for a beer at a sidewalk bar. Some people had seen a funeral procession going by. Back to the boat for our snack, briefing and another great dinner. We all retired early as we were on the move and it was somewhat rocky.

 

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Next Day 28 Sep


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