January 17, 2012
Morning trip to Santa Cruz Island to the Darwin Research Center.
We had a break afterwards so I went back to "The Rock" for a Blue Booby margarita and use the wi-fi there.
Back on boat for lunch and siesta. I have gotten used to taking afternoon naps, I love it! If only my regular life would allow a nice nap in the afternoon.
During the early afternoon we made a trip to the highlands where the landscape changed from a desert to a lush green forest area. All along the road there were giant tortoises and had to be careful driving to make sure none ended up as road kill.
At one point the early explorers passing through reduced the number of tortoises from many thousands to only 15. This was because they needed meat for the long ship journeys but unfortunately almost wiped out the entire species. Although there are strict regulations on the national park areas, many locals do not seem to respect the land they live on. Anyway, I'm sure there are many expert opinoins on what is going on here and I'm not trying to make a judgement. I just see that there has been a huge population growth that keeps growing, about 30,000 people live here. There are schools and hospitals, everything to be self contained as a community, babies are born here and the population keeps growing. Along with population growth comes more pollution and waste. But enough of that, there are many scientists and park rangers here trying to keep this place pristine. The park rangers have to keep patrolling the waters but they cannot catch all the poachers capturing the sharks as well as other animals. Some tortoises have been stolen for exotic pets as well.
Not a good day for photos because it was raining and the wet shells made them shiny reflecting the white sky.
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