Day 40: Wow, Wow And Thrice Wow

Sat. 22nd September 2012

Living in harmonyWell what an amazing day. The surprises just kept coming. Juan had said that Española was his favourite island and it really did not disappoint.

Firstly a walk on very pretty beach with sea lions, turtles, crabs and lizards. We agreed we already had enough photos of sea lions so only take more if they are exceptional shots. We both failed and took more photos. Today Dave took over 170 pictures which will take a lot of sorting. Thank goodness for digital cameras where the bad shots can be deleted!

Cuddle timeThe itinerary is full on so after grabbing a quick coffee if was off again to go snorkelling with sea lions. To begin with it was quite unnerving with them swimming straight at you and then dipping below you at the last minute. You then realised they are playing with you and much better swimmers than you could ever hope to be.

After lunch the yacht moved around the island to another bay for us to explore the beach and take a walk inland. The captain said sails up tomorrow….

Dolphins playing with the boatHalf way through our post-lunch siesta, Juan started blowing his whistle and the shout went up – dolphins. No kidding, the boat was surrounded by hundreds of dolphins swimming  alongside the boat, including right under the bows. They stayed with us for ages. I remember in Greece we thought it was great when a pair of dolphins swam with our yacht – this is just in another league.

Andy, one of our group, who is more organised than us wrote his diary up after lunch and his final words were. “How can it get better than this”. Well it did – and then some.

What do you mean, you want to use the path?We now get quite blasé about “only another sea lion /iguana/mocking bird” but the wildlife is plentiful and they are quite fearless and not scared of us humans at all.

The afternoon was a dry landing on a small jetty where we had to walk through sea lions and marine iguanas – we are the ones who have to give way to them! At the end of the jetty we stopped to admire big groups of iguanas. When we turned around the ones on the jetty were closer but stationery. A bit like the Weeping Angels on Dr Who!

Blue footed BoobyHeading inland, we finally saw the Blue-footed Boobies up close and on land. Just because the paths are clearly marked and humans are restricted to them, doesn’t mean they are off limits to the wildlife. We came across one Booby who had made her nest in the middle of the path. She didn’t seem to be particularly bothered as we stepped over her.

Our guide said we may see an albatross and so we were happy to see one fly past. We were definitely not expecting the sheer quantity we saw and also “airport” where we could see them coming in to land! If you think of the Disney film with the albatross (was it Lady and The Tramp?) or the joke about the ‘Omagouly’ bird, then you will get the picture.

Albatross on final approach - flaps down and airbrakes out!We sat a while watching two hawks flying past and also perching on a close by rock. There were also Nazca Boobies and the albatrosses flying by. We could have stayed all afternoon, but no – there was more to see.

In the distance, over the sound of the waves on the rocks, there was another interesting sound, so off we went. With all these sights we have seen today, we had forgotten that our morning briefing had mentioned a blow hole. Well that was amazing too!Blow hole in action

The chatter over supper was enthusing over what we had seen and which was our favourite. The only consensus was ‘all of the above’. We could see why Juan said this was his favourite island. I could go on but it is time to sleep and be ready for 7am breakfast tomorrow before exploring more exciting places.

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