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February 2006 Vol. 21, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Ashore on the Islands

from the February, 2006 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Famous since their discovery, the Galapagos Islands are unique. The Dancer offered two land excursions with a naturalist. On North Seymour, I encountered both magnificent and lesser frigate birds, red-eyed gulls, marine iguanas sunning themselves, basking sea lions, and blue-footed boobiesone of which was intensely curious and kept trying to play with everyone. Though easily done, touching animals or birds is strictly against park rulesthough the animals are allowed to touch you.

Ashore on the IslandsThe second excursion involved a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where one can see the multiple species of giant tortoise and unique Galapagos flora. Free time is also provided in Puerto Ayora, the main tourist town, where T-shirts and other souvenirs can be purchased (there is also a tiny gift shop on board the Dancer). Private call booths offer telephone service back to the U.S. at a ridiculously cheap 10-14 cents/minute, so you can leave your phone cards at home.

A great read about how Darwins theory is playing out today on the Galapagos Islands: The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time, by Jonathan Weiner. Paperback, 1995, $10.50 from Amazon.

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