Swimming with sharks, seals, penguins and turtles

I stayed up later than I should have last night as I was finishing reading a book. As such, I woke up a bit tired this morning but who cares? I’m in the Galapagos and today we were off to check out the lava tunnels.

We were given a lift to the docks, Glen and I sitting in the back of the ute. Felt so dangerous. We boarded a small boat and joined about nine other people so it wasn’t a big group, which was nice.

We set off across the ocean, heading west over very bumpy seas. I sat at the back of the boat, which was much more tolerable. Glen started to get that worried look in his eye and an older lady from Colombia didn’t seem to be faring well either.

Eventually we made it out to a rock, had a look at sea lions and Californian fur seals (or maybe it’s the other way round), then continued on to our first snorkelling destination (glad when we got there as it meant less bashing around on the waved. Seriously, if you are easily prone to sea sickness, coming to the Galapagos probably isn’t the best place for you to go).

We jumped into the water, swimming around rocks, checking out life beneath the waves. The captain of the boat led the group, pushing us under bridges (slightly scary as I didn’t know how long I’d be under there). We saw reef sharks (yay!) that were sleeping/resting on the ocean floor underneath rocks. We also saw lobsters and probably about five green sea turtles of various sizes. Amazing!

After about an hour, we got back in the boat and were taken to another snorkelling location, this time with penguins and seals. Lots of boats in this area with many people swimming up to the rocks where the seals and penguins were basking.

No sharks this time but a penguin swam near me and a seal under me. Very happy about that.

After about thirty minutes, we got back in the boat and had lunch. I declined the ham and cheese roll. Glen took a bite of his and couldn’t eat any more because of the boat swaying. I did eat the banana and chocolate wafer thing they handed out.

Next stop was the lava tunnels (the name of the tour). It was such a bizarre landscape. As one of the Colombian women pointed out, there were cacti and ferns on rocks in the middle of the ocean. Bizarre. We saw a couple of boobies and a seal, walked around, took photos and then got back in the boat. (I can’t wait to get home and download the photos to show you what this place looked like.)

Then it was a very choppy, 45-minute boat ride back. One of the Colombian women, the one who wasn’t doing so well on the way out, couldn’t hold back her seasickness any longer and threw up over the side of the boat. Poor thing.

I zoned out on the ride back, half-wrapped in my towel and hiding beneath my big hat (that Glen finds so amusing. It does look like something a grandpa would wear).

We were both very glad to step foot on solid ground again. Back at our hotel, we were told there wasn’t room for us (we were meant to go home today). The manager found us a room at the Hotel des Delfines for the same price. The room is fine. Simple. With a bathroom. Now wi-fi though.

Not wanting to take the boat back to Santa Cruz tomorrow we went to the airline office and waited about half an hour only to find out there were no spaces on flights tomorrow. Same goes for the other airline. It was a long shot but worth asking. Now we’ll just have to steel ourselves (and dose up on Buscopan) for tomorrow’s two hour hell ride.

Not having had much lunch we went to Cafe Booby and had soup and a milkshake, walked back to the hotel along the beach (spying many Sally lightfoot crabs) and chilled out for a bit.

Still hungry, we’re now at Caesar’s, having an early dinner and using their internet.

Tomorrow we’re going to see the tortoises at the nearby breeding centre and in the afternoon catch the boat back. Friday will be a tour of an island called Seymour North, then a day to explore Santa Cruz on Saturday before flying back to Quito on Sunday.

What do you say, eh?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s