Sunday, April 14, 2019

Our Last Full Day in Galápagos

Our last full day in the Galápagos.

Last night John said I was moaning and yelling in my sleep. I had a nightmare that I was being attacked by boobies. John says he would welcome such dreams.

After checking on our friends at the sea lion beach, we headed to our favourite “atmosphere” breakfast restaurant. 

We noticed one huge sea lion had spread himself across the threshold to the entrance of the Ecuadorian Armada Headquarters. Let’s hope there’s no fire because the people inside would never get out.

There were lots of sea lions on the beach in front of us. The females and pups have a real sense of play. We also watched blue footed boobies dive head first into the water in search of breakfast.

We noticed that we see just as many if not more animals in populated areas as in the more isolated areas.

After breakfast we grabbed a cab to take us to the highlands. It’s amazing how quickly the weather changed from hot and sunny to cool and drizzly within minutes as we drove up in altitude.

Our first stop was El Junco Lagoon which is the Galápagos’ only permanent fresh water lake. When we climbed up to the volcanic caldera lake, it was clear. Then within a minute or two, the clouds totally rolled in and the lake disappeared from view. Then within a few minutes it was clear again.

Our next stop was La Galapaguera Tortoise Centre. There was a marked difference between the Santa Cruz tortoises and the San Cristobal ones. Tortoises start to breed when they are 15-20 years old. If a male tortoise cannot find an appropriate female he may try to breed with another male or an attractive looking boulder.

Our final stop was Puerto Chino Beach on the other side of the island. It was a beautiful white sand beach. We walked up the rocks beside the beach. From there I could look down into the clear, turquoise waters and see the big fish and rays swimming around.

We then drove back to  our hostel in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno where we changed into our swimming gear. My bathing suit, bathing shorts and rash guard shirt had dried on my body the last time I went snorkelling and I had not washed out the salt water. Now when I put them on, I noticed that I was smelt like a sea lion...not pleasant.

We stopped for lunch at the outdoor restaurant on Mann Beach with the friendly but forgetful waitress. Being the weekend, the place was packed with locals. For $5 each, John and I had the lunch special; lemonade, chicken soup, rice, fried plantains and pork (me) and fish (John). They were both delicious.

We then walked through Lovers Beach where all the shady spots were taken up by lovers and marine iguanas and headed to the bay where we had swam with sea lions. One sea lion was sleeping across the steps that we had to take to get into the water so everyone just stepped over his head. As we snorkelled a few sea lions were swimming around with everyone.

Refreshed, we headed back to the hostel to shower and change before sunset. It was the best sunset of the whole vacation. Totally gorgeous.

I tried the local Galápagos beer called “Endemic” (as it’s found only in the Galápagos). It was really good...with a different taste.

Susan, a lady we met from Michigan, sat with us on the dock as we watched the sea lions swimming. One sea lion was swimming on his side so that one flipper was sticking straight out of the water making him look like a shark. John and I figured he was trying to scare his buddies...there is always one practical joker in every crowd. He did his Jaws impression for about 20 minutes occasionally being joined by a buddy who did the same manoeuvre.

Susan and us continued to chat after dark on our bench at the end of the dock. We heard a dragging behind us, so turned around and saw a large sea lion propel himself to a few feet away from us, plunk himself down and emit a huge, large fart. That’s how we learned that sea lions fart. Sea lions continued to promenade past our bench so close that if you put your arm out you’d touch them. 

A water taxi landed at one of the docks and had a real challenge getting the sea lions, who loudly groaned and complained, to move so they could disembark.

Finally leaving the dock, I came close to buying myself a Blue Footed Boobie T-shirt. It was more tasteful than the “I love boobies” T-shirt’s that are sold everywhere.

We had one last supper at Lucky’s before heading in for the night.

Another wonderful day.

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