Galapagos: Creature comforts (cont.)
This is the point where I feel like an idiot. The Germans speak English, the Spanish-speaking people speak English and I only speak English.
“It will take us about 2 ½ hours to get to Santa Fe Island and it will be a rough ride.” Our guide smirked.
About an hour out into the choppy waters a young boy leaned over the side of the boat and barfed. Not too long after this my own son began to vomit into the wind. I hadn’t loaded him up on Dramamine because of the sleepy effect in causes.
We arrived at a white sandy beach surrounded by glowing aquamarine water. The beach was overcrowded with sea lions, barking and snorting.
I had never seen such a sight. We disembarked amongst the sea lions, as they barely gave a care that we humans were there. Some of the cute little sausage-like creatures were coating themselves with sand to keep flies off, while babies splashed and played in small rocky pools. Mommies lay sprawled out on the hot beach with small infants nuzzled against their breasts.
The bitch-master, as the alpha male sea lion is called barked at us with a deep bellow, making sure we knew that this was still his beach.
Our guide summoned us to follow up a trail leading to the interior of Santa Fe Island. The day was so hot and the equatorial sun was unobstructed in the clear sky. Land iguanas peered out at us from hot rocks.
“These are Santa Fe Island Iguanas and they are only found on this island. Each island has it’s own species.” Our guide taught us.
Towering above the land were huge dog-eared cactus trees perched along a cliff dropping down into the azure sea.
Along the edge of land and water, marine iguanas sunned themselves, occasionally leaping off into the water below. Small lava lizards scurried swiftly between rocks as our guide pointed out a Galapagos hawk perched amongst the cactus trees, waiting for a meal to come along.
By the time we had completed our hike and returned to the boat we were drenched in sweat, so we donned our flippers and snorkels and dove into the clear Pacific.
Immediately we were surrounded by happy playful sea lions. They teasingly nipped at our flippers and swam laps around the slow humans.
As soon as I turned my body to chase one, she was already at my head again. Their whiskers tickled against my skin and their inquisitive eyes peered into my goggles.
Sadly it was time for us to depart Santa Fe Island. We bid our play pals good-bye and I Dramamine-ed up Quinn.
The sun was setting as we returned to the Finch Bay Hotel.
What a beautiful day we had had.
“Did you enjoy yourselves?” Asked Andrea from the hotel.
“Oh yeah! How could one not?” I rhetorically asked.
I sat in the hammock outside our room and listened to the night creatures sing their beautiful songs. We still had many more days and many more environments to visit in this chain of volcanic islands.
Each one would bring a new experience, a new landscape a new species.