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Lion + Tiger = Liger?

Posted by Susanna On February - 19 - 2011

After being refused at the Big Cat Rescue in the Tampa area where the stuff welcomed us very unfriendly I decided not to waste my money for their “zoo“! The friend of mine and I gave the cats another try and decided to check out the Big Cat Habitat. Just so we could get a couple of nice shot with the big cats. We saw them – yes. But the whole spectacle seems to be more of a circus show for the big predators which private people once owned… I was surprised how many cats must have been in private households… People even had crossed lions with tigers to get a liger… The cats and bears are in a few cages which are very small but I guess they can leave when there is no public visiting. And since that place is open only at the weekends there might be quite a few options. I was glad getting a glimpse on how majestic the white tiger were looking. Even though the photos I made were not high class. There was just no real nice possibility. Everywhere people stressing and the cats seemed all far from happy about that. Later we watched the show they make which reminded on a circus show. The tricks were funny but nothing extraordinary. I still wonder if big cats are happy like that and if there is no alternative than a life like that even though there are rescued… And why is it allowed in Florida to own big animals like that? Do you need to cross a tiger with a lion?

Big Cat Habitat

White Tiger

Lion + Tiger = Liger?

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Bye bye 2010!

Posted by Susanna On December - 31 - 2010

Ohhhh, how fast this year 2010 went by… It just had started. And now it is already over. Sometimes I really have the feeling that it all passes by faster with age… I had a great year with very happy and very sad moments. I hope the best for the upcoming year 2011 for all my friends and I! What I did today? I went for a walk with Todd at Casco Viejo and later for a photo excursion in the Panama Zoo to take pictures of the harpy eagle which is the biggest eagle in the world. When we saw the eagle it was far away and secretly I wished somebody to come out and feed it so it would come closer… And guess what? Somebody did! So I was able to do the following photos. In addition I’ve seen the jaguar and the tapir. Animals I wanted to spot in the wild in the amazon but were not able too… In the evening I went with friends I had met in the hostel to dinner at the Casablanca restaurant as a warm up for the long new years night.

Casco Viejo

Panama Zoo

Harpy Eagle

Jaguar

Dinner at Casablanca

 

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Amazoonico and Ayahuasca

Posted by Susanna On December - 10 - 2010

This day was supposed to be a very special day. I wanted to do the cleaning ceremony with Ayahuasca. Two friends I met in Galapagos had recommended me Petronio the shaman who lives in a small community near Mishualli in the rain forest of Ecuador. They had told me about the ceremony in the jungle at night leaning on the sacred rock. Petronio yesterday told me to come back around 6:30pm today and he had told me to eat only fruits and a very light breakfast – nothing else. And so I did. During the day I went to the Amazoonico Zoo in the jungle. I took buses and a boat since that was way cheaper than a expensive tour. The place itself was OK but nothing special. You are guided at all times of one of the volunteers. You can not observe the animals alone. I saw few cats, monkeys and birds mainly.
In the evening I met up with Petronio who brought me to the sacred place and gave me the Ayahuasca. He explained to me that he is going to stay with me for hours and offered me even that I could stay with him and his family after… I still preferred my place. He explained all steps of the ceremony: First I will see the clouds and the stars, then the animals like jaguar and tarantula. Then I will talk to people and then finally to the dead. I was excited since I wanted to see my grandparents and my friend who had died six years ago. Leaning on the sacred rock I waited, the shaman sitting next to me… It was pitch black. Nothing else then the voice of the jungle… Then I felt so many things and still I lost so much of my memory. I’ve seen the jaguar and baby turtles running into the ocean. I’ve talked to my grandparents and my best dead friend. I talked to my mother who cried and apologized for being so sick with cancer. That was heartbreaking. I felt so sorry and cried. Then she gave me a card saying she felt already a bit better now. Then I tried a few times to get up but it was not possible or the shaman pulled me down again. But at one point I stood and nobody hold me… I saw a cliff in front of my feet. I felt like jumping on the other side but at the same point to weak to make it with a super move like the characters in the computer games. But the I decided to jump with all my energy what was left. I jumped. And I smashed against the rock. There has been no cliff and I jumped against the rock! Slowly I felt the blood running down my leg and hand. I was not scared neither I felt pain. I just hold on to the rock until the shaman found me and pulled me down again… Where has he been… I don’t know if he had left for a minute or had simply fall asleep. Meanwhile it was already 3am next morning. Petronio helped me back to Misahualli where I still had visions for the next few days.

AmaZoonico

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Muro de las Lagrimas or Wall of Tears

Posted by Susanna On October - 21 - 2010

This morning I was invited of a friend for a snorkel trip to Tintoreras. Before you actually snorkel over there you are walking a small island and there is one part where you can watch sleeping white tip sharks from above. Normally most sharks need to be in constant move to breathe but at this spot they are protected and the current is still strong enough so they can rest without moving. Of course every now and then they swim but in between they sleep. I have never seen something like that before. Then I went snorkeling and I don’t have to say it again but – it is freezing in Galapagos waters. I saw schools of surgeon fish, turtles and finally I swam and played with a curious sea lion for about 20min and took some great videos of it what I will post as soon as I have the possibility to edit…

Tintoreras

On Isabella there is that part of an unfinished building called Muro de las Lagrimas or Wall of Tears. According to the  history, the wall was built by prisoners for prisoners. They were supposed to build their own jail. They say hundreds of prisoners built on that wall only watched by a few police men. The prison was never finished and the portion that was built took four years to build. Now it stays there in the wild landscape of Isabela as a silent reminder of the other site of Galapagos history that reminds you that there is more than the beautiful wildlife. The Wall of Tears is an impressive wall made out of hundreds of lava stones.

Muro de las Lagrimas / Wall of tears

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Isla Santiago and Isla Rabida

Posted by Susanna On October - 6 - 2010

Overnight we arrived at Santiago or James island. The islands mostly have two or more names over here. Charles Darwin himself spent about 9 days on the island to observe animals. Later in the 1920’s and 1960’s it was used for salt mining. Early around 6:00am we left the boat for the first “wet-landing” on the island. We arrived at Puerto Egas and walked along the trail observing seal lions and marine iguanas. On the way we arrived at the tidal pools where you can see the rare fur seals. These animals were hunted until almost extinction because of there fur but meanwhile they about to recover. It is unbelievable how friendly Galapagos animals are. They don’t know the fear for humans. You can go very closely and sit in between them to observe. Amazing! It is better than I ever expected it could be! After a quick break for breakfast on the boat we went for a snorkel and saw beautiful turtles. From the boat I watched actually a shark hunting tuna… In the afternoon we visited another site of that island with sea lions hanging out on the beach everywhere. We did a hike up through an area with lots of cactus while observing several birds like the finches, mockingbirds, frigate birds, boobies and pelicans. Everywhere you look there is abundant wildlife!

Puerto Egas at Isla Santiago

Snorkel  near Isla Santiago

Isla Rabida

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Galapagos here I come…

Posted by Susanna On October - 5 - 2010

This day started with a short night. Sleeping in the Mercure Hotel in Quito was kind of unpleasant. The bathroom was dirty but I didn’t mind. I found hairs of previous guests. But I was angry after I had washed my hair and the hairdryer was not working properly. Calling the reception and asking for a new one seemed to be difficult. Even more they suggested me to bring one in the morning – but my hair was wet – NOW. Finally I got a hairdryer and also only three more hours of sleep. When I woke up some coins felt out of my pockets and while I was reaching for them I found something else – a used sock what was not mine! This actually never had happened to me before. Not even to mention that the organization of my trip was very unorganized! I didn’t even received the welcome letter with the trip itinerary. So I had missed the meeting with one guide what was the previous evening.
Well in the end we arrived at the airport and around noon in Galapagos.
Galapagos. Finally my dream become true of the islands known to be the Garden Eden and the island where Charles Darwin came up with his evolution theory.
I had done so much to fulfill that dream that it seemed surreal sitting in the plane to it. While checking in at customs I even felt sort of sentimental and had to swallow to not cry because of happiness. At the airport of Baltra our guide Fabian (Yes same name as the other Fabian in Quito.) picked the group up and brought us all to the little harbor where our boat San José was waiting for us. I got lucky and got the best cabin what was behind the bridge of the boat at the upper level – room 5. That day we had lunch on the boat and went with the little dingy boats for a cruise at Caleta Tortuga Negra (Black Turtle Cove) at the mangroves to spot the first animals…. We saw three species of mangrove, red, white and black and all can be found here. Galapagos was what I thought about it. You just need to be awake and look out and you will see so many animals. On the way to turtle bay the boat was surrounded by flying fregatte birds everywhere. We observed several birds like brown pelicans and noddies who simply wait until the pelican catches some fish and then steal it. Funny to watch these naughty birds! Then we watched mating turtles and white tip reef sharks. I still had to pinch myself to realize that I was there… But I am!

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The beluga baby

Posted by admin On August - 23 - 2008

Today I went back to Stanley Park to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. I’ve heard its beautiful and right now their beluga whales had a baby. The aquarium was so full because of the weekend. But its worth it. In general I don’t like caged dolphins and whales. Was the first time I saw them in a aquarium. But probably I would never have the chance again to see a beluga baby because that’s really rare. Only seven aquariums on the world have beluga whales. The baby’s mother was also born in that aquarium. They were so beautiful. Guest could only watch them for 10min and had to be very silent. Also the aquarium shows some frogs, reptiles and butterflies. Read the rest of this entry »

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First boat dives

Posted by admin On July - 15 - 2006

After passing my mask skill and completing all skills I was ready for going diving in the breathtaking reefs at the Bligh Water around Nananu-I-Ra. And right on my first dive in the morning at ‘Bula Maker’ I saw a turtle. It was so beautiful. On the afternoon dive we went to another dive site called ‘Dream Maker’. Both beautiful with corals and hundreds of different fish. In the evening made the written multiple choice test for finishing the Open Water course. In the evening we had the beach party

Ann and I at our first boat dives…

Aaron a guy I met gave me some nice photos he took and his turtle looks like the one I´ve seen…

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“One should not think about the result; one does not travel to reach a destination, but to travel.”
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 

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