The Bird Slut


This blog entry about the events of Wednesday, November 26, 2003 was originally posted on November 29, 2003.

DAY 39: Each island of the Galapagos archipelago has its share of endemic species — species that are not found anywhere else.  Sometimes we’d be treated to a new animal, sometimes it was the same old marine iguana, sally lightfoot crab or the ever-popular sea lion (which never got tired.)  This was the case when we landed on the shores of Gardner Bay on Isla Española, the southern most island of all the Galapagos and walked along its white sand beach.  However, as Darwin discovered, Life finds a way to make things interesting.

“You should go for Tatjiana,” Navid suggested to me as we walked along the beach.  He had noticed that there might be some sort of attraction between the two of us.  “Seems like she’s interested.”

“Yeah, I know,” I answered.  Yes, I felt too that perhaps there might be something there; then again, it could just have been the psychological syndrome I’ve heard of where tourists fall for their guides because of circumstance, sort of like Florence Nightingale Syndrome — I noticed that the other guys traveling solo were trying to get her attention as well. 

NEO AND AGENT SMITH DUKED IT OUT in a bootleg DVD of Matrix Revolutions, yet another addition to Mauricio’s extensive underground DVD collection, as we cruised to Punta Suarez, the western point of Isla Española.  When we were anchored and just waiting around, a huge school of fish began hovering near the boat while Tatjiana and I were talking on the port side deck.  She was telling me about the slang term “colorado” that she and her friends use to describe the gringos, since they get “colored” red when burning in the sun, whereas moreno people like her and myself just got darker and darker.

The term “colorado” could apply to marine iguanas as well because we were greeted by red marine iguanas grouped up in piles.  Male marine iguanas change color during mating season, which meant the piles of iguanas were either really manly football huddles, or really gay orgies.

Tatjiana led our group down the designated trail, passed more piles of iguanas, lava lizards, sea lions and Galapagos oystercatcher birds.  Sand flies came in every direction and there was a lot of self-slapping going around.

SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT BIGGER IS BETTER, but when you are a wandering albatross — the massive endemic bird of Española island — and wish to fly, size could be a problem.  Wandering albatrosses get over this obstacle by walking to the edge of a cliff and jumping off with their wings spread, hoping to catch air currents to lift them up high.  Tatjiana led us to these cliffs where we saw the clumpsy birds launch downwards and glide right back up.

While on land, wandering albatrosses have a different behavior, particularly in the act of dating.  When two albatrosses are courting, they do a courtship dance for hours by knocking each other’s beak together like a swordfight.  “I think it’s so beautiful,” Tatjiana said, all the while I’m thinking in my head, “How’s that for kinky foreplay?”  Anyway, after the two birds make out, they become mates for life, and all without the hassles of pre-nuptial agreements.

At one point, we saw two albatrosses really going at it while a lone one sat nearby.  I figured he was the pizza delivery bird who was just there to watch.

Wandering albatrosses should really get their own soap opera because we stumbled upon a courtship dance between a male and female.  They were making out with their little beakplay until another male came along; the female then started dancing with the new guy.  The other male stayed near and soon the female was making out with two guys, back and forth.  Nearby was another couple and the female making out with the two guys started making out with the third male for an albatross three-way.  The other female got angry, but the first female just kept on going at it.

“What a slut,” I said.  If not a soap opera, then definitely a reality show on FOX.

WE WALKED ALONG THE CLIFFS passed masked boobies — the biggest boobies of them all (hee hee) — as the sun set (picture above), making the sky a dramatic pink, glowing from behind the clouds.  The tide came in and ocean waves crashed into the rocks, sometimes through “blowholes” in the rock, forming geysers of ocean mist. 

WITH ONLY FOUR AMERICANS ON THE SHIP, Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t a big deal — we had breaded steaks and mashed potatoes instead of turkey and football.  However, after the not-so-special meal, we finished the night off with a nice American Pie — a screening of the movie that is.

The Free Enterprise sailed through the night over big rolling ocean waves and most people — including myself — started to get a little sea sick.  I managed to watch the whole DVD until I couldn’t hold in my nausea any longer and just went to sleep.

So far I have been on a computer for about ten hours straight today, back in Puerto Ayora, trying to catch up on The Blog…I’m totally beat and my brain is fried, so I will continue later…very soon!  Stay tuned for “Postcards From A Weirdo,” the exciting conclusion of the Galapagos boat trip! 

Next entry: Postcards From A Weirdo

Previous entry: The Land of Land Iguanas

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Comments for “The Bird Slut”

  • i’ll have to catch up on reading after i find the fuckers who broke into my car!!!

    other than that….

    tranquilo, tranquilo

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  08:14 AM

  • E,

    Great pics.  You write so much it’s hard to keep up!!!!

    Keep it up.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  01:28 PM

  • I like your pics of boobies. hee hee

    That last one must’ve been pretty close since?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  06:45 PM

  • i hope you have more pictures of boobies. (heh heh) they are so cute!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  06:47 PM

  • I can’t get enough of the sunsets and the water shots.  Awesome pics!  How are you taking the underwater shots?  You have an underwater case for your digital camera?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  08:42 PM

  • Thanks for the comments guys…  ugh, I’m still behind and I’m in back in Guayaquil now, a NCHUZ!  (No Camera Hook Up Zone).  I’ll do my best…

    ROZZIE:  No, I just had a cheap disposable underwater one…I developed them at a one hour photo place and then took photos of them with my little digital camera instead of scanning them…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/29  at  11:40 PM

  • yeh ... more boobies!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  01:05 PM

  • huh, huh… he said booby.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  04:48 PM

  • your pics are rockin awesome…and i enjoy reading your daily happenings….it sounds like you ae having soo much fun….dude keep up the awesome work!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  05:28 PM

  • Zuri:  thanks!  and welcome to the blog posting club…  spread the word!

    PC:  yeah, i think i spend more money on internet than i do on beer!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/30  at  09:39 PM

  • More $$$ on the Net than on Beer?! Erik you need to get your priorities sorted out!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  03:21 AM

  • Td0t:  Hmmm…would you rather not have this daily blog? 

    Don’t worry…internet is more expensive than beer…  do the math…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  12:48 AM

  • NO! Me likes the daily blog. I know you were only kidding, but don’t take away the fun “ah, I wish I was there and not at my desk” part of the day.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  08:50 PM

  • that’s funny you mentioned COLORADO means RED. i just learned that fun fact a few days ago. i’m going to RED in jan w/heather (snowboarding!). finally, a trip.

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/07  at  12:30 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.

Next entry:
Postcards From A Weirdo

Previous entry:
The Land of Land Iguanas


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