Galapagos – Darwin’s playground

Islands | | August 5, 2010 at 5:05 am


If ever there were a Utopia on this big blur rock of ours, the Galapagos would be it. Stepping into this world is like taking a brave new leap into a brand new world. Wild animals abound, but you will soon come to understand that that which you deem wild and exotic are almost entirely commonplace here. Sea Lions abound aplenty, and none of the animals take much notice of your presence, nothing much being able to ruffle their feathers or fur. It’s almost as if you’re a walking ghost, just passing by unnoticed and unseen as their little world goes on happily by with them being the only real inhabitants of this planet. And in their own little way, they are.

Galapagos islands tourism

This is no exotic, touristy getaway, although there will be constant reminders that serve notice of the trappings and luxuries of mankind, and it’s no paradise in itself, largely devoid of vegetation at times which is definitely jarring. The human populace itself is rapidly growing and for a grain of land only some 1000 km from the Ecuadorian coastline, there is almost no sign of any development that would turn this into a rampant commercial interest. Most of the activities are geared towards sustaining the local insutry spurred on by tourism, but not at the cost of the ecosystem that makes the Galapagos what it is.

Canonised by many and made the stuff of lore by Charles Darwin, it doesn’t take a rare sense of understanding to see why the natural flora and fauna manage to draw in so many visitors from all over the globe. To see a perfect balance exist between sentient life and nature somewhere within this concrete jungle of ours must warm the cockles of even the hardest hearts, and crass commercialism has as yet been kept at bay in the Galapagos. Hopefully, it will remain so in the near and distant future for where else will you be able to enter into a staring contest with a feisty looking Marine Iguana that’s grabbing a well deserved sun tan? If you’re lucky enough, they’ll pose for the cameras. If lady luck isn’t smiling upon you, they’ll simply scurry off into the water. They harbor no fear towards humans, and this is a trait identifiable across the wildlife present on the island.

Of course, the giant Galapagos Tortoise and Penguins will find a mention inevitably. The Tortoise are enormous in stature, the largest of their kind anywhere in the world, and have been known to live more than a 100 years while the Penguins have strangely made a home for themselves in the Equator. The Island never ceases to amaze, and there are plenty more discoveries to be made on this wonderful island. You can take a dip with the sea lions, but beware the large bulls that guard the harem for they can get very protective but the curious ones tend to be playful and inquisitive and offer an experience unlike anything you’ve ever had before. To pet or touch any of the animals is strictly prohibited, but it is a small price to pay for being in such close proximity to the animal kingdom. To experience such intimacy with the ecosystem is extraordinary in itself, and the measures taken to protect the Galapagos are both laudable and extremely effective. God’s own playpen deserves nothing less.

Galapagos giant tortoise

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