I can’t believe it’s almost over, this Galapagos tour. We have decided that, although we would love to stay aboard another 4 days and see the northern islands, we would also like to visit northern Ecuador. It was a difficult decision. On the other hand, we are looking forward to having our own schedule again, maybe not waking up quite so early.
Today we visited Espanola island, which is a great flat island, covered with large rocks, coarse cool white sandy beaches, shrubs, and lots of wildlife. The only thing we thought we might see but didn’t was a constrictor. A Galapagos constrictor, naturally.
Packed tight into the pangas, we arrived at a dry landing for our hike around the island.
However, once we landed, we saw that our way was blocked by sea lions sunning themselves, so we carefully picked our way around the rocks off the path, avoiding stepping on sea lions, crabs, marine iguanas, and lava lizards.
The female lizards had red heads. Matt renamed them “tourist lizards,” explaining that they hadn’t used enough sunscreen and had gotten a burn. The male lava lizards were much larger than the females, and had coarser scales with red highlights.
Sea lions were everywhere. Each colony had a beach master who patrolled the beach, guarding the little ones from sharks and other predators while the mothers were out hunting fish. Unfortunately, this little one had been attacked by a shark anyway. We watched him scurry up the shore, calling out and flapping his flippers at the wound. Lorenzo, our guide, said that since his wounds were pretty superficial, he would no doubt survive just fine.
Sadly, snorkeling was a disappointment today. We took the panga out to the rocks across from the swimming beach, but the water was very active, we couldn’t see anything, and Roger needed to be rescued. He was drinking a lot of the sea! Fortunately, Suzanne saw his struggle and the panga went to get him.
We looked for a better place, but eventually gave up and just went playing in the surf. The sea lions thought we looked like good playmates, and 2 or 3 of them kept swimming through us.
I let the surf wash me to shore, then tumble me around over and over. It was really really fun, but then I had sand in everything. I hope I don’t get stopped at the airport for trying to export sand in my hair!
Everyone was really ready for our last dinner tonight, and we all drank a little too much, hanging around on deck until one by one, we sought our beds.
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