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  • On 8th October 1835, the survey ship HMS Beagle

  • anchored in this bay.

  • Onboard was Charles Darwin and he and four companions

  • were put ashore on this island for a week.

  • An island that he described as both picturesque and curious.

  • In Darwin's day it was called James Island.

  • Today it's known an Santiago.

  • At almost 600 square kilometres,

  • it's one of the larger islands in the Galapagos.

  • Its highest point is 900 metres above sea level.

  • On Santiago Darwin met two Spaniards

  • who were hard at work butchering tortoises for their meat.

  • Together they had an uncomfortable walk across this lava field.

  • Eventually they arrived at this volcanic lake

  • where the Spaniards collected salt to use as a preservative.

  • Darwin was fascinated by local flora and fauna.

  • He described the Galapagos as a world within itself,

  • full of creatures that were both curious and remarkable.

  • The islands were teeming with wildlife.

  • There were so many land iguanas, for instance,

  • that Darwin found it difficult to pitch his tent

  • without covering their burrows.

  • Today, there are none left on Santiago.

  • In total Darwin spent five weeks on the Galapagos

  • experimenting, observing and collecting specimens.

  • As for tortoise meat, he noted that it tasted particularly good

  • when roasted in its shell.

On 8th October 1835, the survey ship HMS Beagle

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