Monday, March 12, 2012

Blue-Footed Boobies

One of the many creatures that call these islands their home is the Blue-Footed Boobie. It is a bird that is exclusive to the Galapagos Islands.

From where Astarte is anchored, we can see them sitting on the nearby rocky island and it is enormous fun to watch them fish. The birds are a rather large sea bird with very distinctive big blue web feet. It looks like they are wearing blue rubber boots. When they are in flight, the feet are difficult to see, but when they stand on land, they are very obvious.

They look a bit awkward on shore, but in flight they are quite graceful. They are very decisive in all their actions. When flying, if they see fish below, they make very quick turns and deep, fast dives. They go under water a way and then pop up to the surface like a cork and actually bounce out of the water a bit. Before we realized these birds were the famous blue-footed boobies, we nicknamed them "poppers" because of how they popped out of the water. We do enjoy watching them.

We've headed into the town of Villamil a few times. It is a nice walk along a road, though dusty as nothing is really paved. It is all lava rock gravel and dust. The town is a small area around a nice park with lots of benches and a beautiful beach on one side. There are several small "tiendas," small grocery markets, quite a few restaurants and small hotels. The cost of living though is quite high. A loaf of sliced sandwich bread is $3.50 and we bought some fresh vegetables (lettuce, brocolli, grean beans, and an avocado) for $8.50. Not the place to provision that for sure.

The local beer is "Pilsner" or "Club" and they are served in the larger bottles (800 milliliters) and costs between $3.50 and $4.50 at the local restaurants/bars. But we each get a glass of beer out of the bottle.

The Galapagos are also quite into recycling. They pretty much recycle everything and have well marked all over the town. In the city park there is lots of information about the recycling program on big posters with questions and answers and lots of details. They even have small bins for recycling batteries and things.

We have been shopping around for various tours we might take. As we mentioned earlier, you can't do much alone here without official guides. For now, we're enjoying being on the boat and watching the wildlife swim and fly by.

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