I woke up early this morning to begin packing before breakfast. It’s our last day on the Islands, and while I’m sad to see this part of the trip come to an end, I also feel that I’ve been on the ocean long enough.
We took one last excursion before leaving, a quick panga ride to Sea Lion Island, a tiny slip of land off San Cristabel. At the landing site, sea lions covered the shore and the dock, and our guide had a little confrontation with an alpha male who barked menacingly, waddling towards him. Actually quite scary, these are big, heavy animals, and determined when they want to be.
The island was low, lots of shrubs and alien lava shores. We walked along from boulder to boulder, but it wasn’t easy going. Gary was doing well considering, but his arthritis was flaring up and I could see it was a struggle. He hasn’t ever complained though and I could see he was pushing through it. Sea lions were almost everywhere, marine iguanas, Frigates, and a pair of Blue Footed Boobies were doing a mating dance, apparently rare to see.
On the sad side, there was also a dead sea lion and a pair of abandoned babies that were likely to die before long. One was obviously malnourished, his ribs prominent and his movements slow and weak. Pretty heartbreaking. There is quite a bit of that here, the obvious signs of lives beginning and ending, of predator and prey.
Back to the boat for final packing. Our last cruise is 45 minutes to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a short distance from the island airport. At the landing dock was a staircase up from the water to the pier above. Sea lions there too, 4 or 5 of them, laying across the stairs. The town here is small and we had about an hour to be tourists and find shelter in the shade.
Later: A transfer bus picked us up at 11 and we were at the airport literally 4 minutes later. Our flight from The Galapagos to Quito was turbulent and had me taking another motion sickness pill. Walking off the plane, back up in the higher altitudes of the Andes, the cooler temperatures were very obvious and it was a welcome break. Although the altitude also brought back the feeling of being light headed. It’s about half way between drunk and unsettling.
We’ve booked back into the same hotel and plan on an easy night before beginning the second half of our trip, the Ecuador interior. I’m not sure how it will compare to the Galapagos Islands, but tomorrow’s itinerary involves a “cloud forest”, so it’s gotta be good.
(March 13, 2012.)