Note: wifi is very poor, so the many pictures I would like to include will most likely have to be added was I get back on the mainland!
Our day started with a lovely breakfast at the hotel. They even offered a Gluten free option, which turned out to be a polenta cake with a boiled egg. Much better that I expected for these remote Islands! What made it particularly special was that a black Darwin finch sat on a branch only about 3 feet from us while we had our coffee al la fresco! We soon finished our breakfast then headed down to the pier.
At 8:30, our group boarded a private boat. We were off to Lobos Island to spend a couple of hours walking the trails and then a couple of hours snorkelling. We had a lovely calm ride which took us past Darwin’s Bay where we were swimming yesterday.
When we reached Lobos Island, we were told that it would be a dry landing. Interestingly, this was not the usual expected dock, but a narrow concrete pad that the boat approached bow first. Aided by the crew, we each climbed around to the bow and hopped off!
What a magical place! We no sooner started our walk when we saw a next of frigate birds with 2 babies, right next to our path. Little did we know that we would encounter many more! We traveled to the west side of the Island and watched the pelicans and blue footed boobies dive for their lunch – what a display of aeronautics!
We then walked back across the island see visit a sea lion colony. It’s calving season, so wee pups were everywhere! We even had a chance to see the alpha male of the brood strut his stuff! It’s a truly amazing experience because none of the wild life is afraid of us in the least. While we all tried to follow the 2 meter rule ( don’t walk closer that 2 meters to any animal) they all would either lie or sit there as if we weren’t around!
We walked back to the west side of the island and travelled a little farther north and were able to see a few nests of blue footed boobies as well as some adolescents and adults. We then retraced our steps back to the sea lion colony, where there was another “dry landing “ spot and boarded our “ship”, Next stop was snorkelling.
The skipper positioned the ship so that we could follow the shore and the current on the east side of the island. Again we had spectacular experiences swimming with a number of sea tortoises, seals and dozens of species of fish. The weather was sunny, just perfect to float long the top and explore this underworld.
After about an hour nor so we boarded the boat and headed to a remote beach. Here we did a “wet” landing ( that means they back the boat into the beach, pull up the motors, and the crew hold it in place while everyone hops off into about 6 inches of water), the beach was, white sand (created by sea shells)and was lovely for exploring. It’s just so amazing to be able to visit something this beautiful and remote with me chance of development. Just allowing the ecosystem to sustain itself in balance with respectful ecotourism.
Soon, it was time to get back on board, and enjoy a lovely lunch while floating on this turquoise sea watching all the wildlife around us. Not a better table in any restaurant!!
After lunch we headed back to town, and then to our hotel for a quick shower and change. We then walked back to the interpretive centre for a talk by Wilson that explained the geology, plant and animal life, the history of the peoples of the islands and finally what they are planning to do in the future to preserve this magnificent place for generations to come.
Getting a little tired and thirsty, we left the group and headed back to town for a refreshment at a quaint bar called Casablanca! There we met up with some of the rest of our group and shared some stories, laughs, and a few photos!
The four of us then set out in search of dinner, and ended up in a restaurant that we wanted to visit the night before. It was my first experience with ceviche, which is fish “cooked” in a lime ( acid) based broth. It was simply amazing, especially when you know the seafood that you were eating was caught just that day!
We took a leisurely walk back to our hotel and watched the sea lions lounging on shore… and some even on the pier ( by the way, I followed one up the gang plank when we disembarked from our boat at the end of the afternoon).. so amazing to see these wild creatures living in such close contact with humans!
Well, it’s been a long day, and with an early morning departure tomorrow, I’d better begin to sign off! Tomorrow we cruise to Floriana Island, to explore and snorkel, then onto Isabella Island where we will spend the next 3 nights after tonight. Isabella is the largest Island, but very small in population (about 3,000). Being a small island, the services wont be that great, so I expect that I wont be posting again until we reach Santa Cruz Island at the end of our tour here. Be patient, thr blogs will return once I have decent wifi…. As will the pictures!