Hasta luego Galapagos

Trip Start Jan 16, 2008
Trip End Apr 19, 2008

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The trip out to Plaza Islands yesterday was a great way to end our stay here in Galapagos. Once again it started with a bus ride to the canal, followed by a boat trip round the coast of Santa Cruz to South Plaza island. Turns out that we're not the only ones using the "wharf" there - the local sea lions use it as a creche, so we were met by 30+ baby sea lions frolicing in the bay. Super!

Saw loads of land iguanas on our walk there as well. We still think the marine ones are cooler, but the land iguanas are also pretty cool. Highlight of the walk though was while we were walking along the cliff top on the back side of the island. Looking down, we could see the water was really clear. Suddenly the guide yelled "Tiburon!" (Shark). And there they were, 4 or 5 HUGE sharks (easily 3 metres plus) swimming around the base of the cliff. We couldn't understand why, until we walked a bit further and caught sight of an adult sea lion bleeding from one side. Obviously he'd been attacked by one of the sharks (or possibly just been in a fight with another sea lion) and the blood had attracted the sharks. We watched for a while until the sea lion had drifted out of sight. Little sad to see, but it's nature so kind of fascinating at the same time.

We were supposed to go snorkelling off North Plaza after that, but the captain decided against it because of the sharks, which was fair enough. The seal wasn't in the lagoon, but it could easily have come in, and snorkelling with blood in the water is never a good idea :)

Instead we headed back up to the canal (actually the straight between Santa Cruz & Baltra) and snorkelled there instead. So no final swim with the sea lions, but we did see a final sting ray which was nice.

Sad to be leaving here, the Galapagos are truly fantastic, and despite having been here a month and having experienced so much, it feels like we've only scratched the surface. Definitely not ready to leave, but there are other places to visit, so we have to. We'll no doubt be back...
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