Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Snorkelling with sea lions

Day 90 - 27 de Agosto: Isla Isabela 

Today was another incredible day. After waking up and having breakfast, we were fitted with masks, fins and wetsuits and taken by the same truck to the marina where we were dropped off at. Our first activity was going to be kayaking. However, it wouldn't be quite like my kayaking in the amazon - this was full on pacific ocean. We had to paddle hard to leave the beach and at first, I actually thought I was getting seasick in the kayak. I got over it as we made our way to more sheltered water. On the rocks, we saw our first typical galapagos animals - blue footed boobies. Although they weren't doing their famous dance here, it was still cool to finally see these. As we continued, we had a sea lion actually surface around our group, wanting to play as if it was a sea otter. As people were leaving, i splashed a little water to attracted it and it actually came over and rubbed it's belly against my hand. Now i'm a felon because you can't touch the animals here ;). We carried on and saw a pelican up close, but didn't see much else for wildlife here. Landing back on the beach was interesting with the tide - i nearly crashed through some rocks. But I made it. We carried on to the next stop - a little nearby bay for snorkelling. The walk down the dock was blocked by a sea lion, chilling out in our way, but he decided to move out of the way for us as we got close. It's funny how much character these animals have. The water in the bay was cold, but we bad wetsuits on which made it fine. The coral reef here had many small colourful fish and even a few pufferfish, but what made it really amazing were the sea lions. A bunch of them entered the bay as we got in (which was apparently really rare). We swam with them and played with them for most of the time. I chased one around in circles and when i decided to leave, this one followed me around like a puppy. It's amazing how natural this place is! Unfortunately, one of our group started having breathing problems while out snorkelling and had to go to the hospital by the end. We were all worried, but had to continue on with our her and Olivia. We were taken to a small place where we had yellowfin tuna for lunch. It was some good stuff - taking advantage of the fish while we can. Olivia told us that apparently there was a nuclear waste leak in Japan recently and there is an advisory out that in a few days, we shouldn't eat any fish from the pacific. Anyway, we had a bit of down time in the early afternoon before we continued on. We were first taken to a lagoon where we saw 13 or 14 flamingos. Then we were taken to the giant tortoise breeding centre that I saw yesterday. We had a guide that actually told us about each part which was useful. I found it interesting that when the turtle eggs are being incubated, the temperature determines the gender (warm = more females). We were then taken to two more viewpoints before our tour came to an end. The truck dropped us off at the beach because we wanted to go to the famous "pink house" of the island. It was a local bar where you could play beach volleyball and indulge in happy hour. We walked over and started up a game. After a few good rounds, some locals showed up to start a real game with us. We divided into teams and played until 15 points before rotating out the losers. My team won every game but one (however I can't say I was the best player on the team). We had a lot of fun for this evening hour, then made our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. At 7, we met up with Olivia and first went to check on our companion in the hospital. She was fine at this point, and in good spirits, however the hospital still wanted to keep her overnight. After a bit of chatting, we all left for dinner. We went to the same great restaurant as yesterday and I got to try another new thing - swordfish. It was accompanied by shrimp pasta and tomato soup. Everyone was talking about going out for a little bit afterwards... until we got the unsettling news that we would be waking up at 5am tomorrow! Yes, that dashed everyone's plans real fast. On our way walking back to the hotel, one of the girls asked if I wanted to go check out the big church of this town. I said sure and the two of us sat down inside for a quick prayer. She's been taking care of all of us on this trip - definitely glad to have her in our group. We caught up with the rest of them after a quick trip to the bakery, then went to our rooms to pack up our bags and be ready for 5!

The pink house

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