The bay tour … continued

Feb 13, 2012

The company I traveled with was Chamacuss Tours. The two guides were really fantastic – Edilberto and Armando.

Edilberto spoke good English and was great at explaining where we were going, what we would see and why it was important.

Our first stop was for snorkeling with the sea lions. Then we took a short boat ride to Playa de los Perros. Upon arrival we were greeted by friendly sea lions waving to us.

Galapagos Islands Seal
Galapagos Islands Seal

Here we saw unique wildlife (such as cactus) and an area where sharks go to rest and sleep. Unfortunately, there weren’t any there that day.

Cactus, Galapagos Islands
Cactus, Galapagos Islands
Cactus, Galapagos Islands
Cactus, Galapagos Islands

We got back on the boat for our snack which consisted of pop and crackers, but it was just enough to keep us going.

Next stop was Grieta de los Tintoreras.

Here we had the decision of either going for a walk which was a little bit difficult with the end being a beautiful place to snorkel and cool off, or we could go directly to the beach.

Of course, I’ve seen many beaches before, so despite the sizzling heat, I chose to head off to the snorkeling area. By this time of day (11am-12pm) the heat is nearly unbearable. A 15-20 minute walk on stepping stones, rocks and a few hills nearly killed me. There is no shade from the heat, only more heat, more rocks and more difficult terrain.

At the end, we came to an opening in the rocks with beautiful turquoise water. My body temperature was climbing by the second and it was a little bit like finding an oasis in the dessert!

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands

We precariously climbed up and down over huge bolders to get to a spot where we could shed our clothes. I set my backpack down, took my shoes and socks off. Sunglasses and hat on top of my backpack and I was ready to go! Then one of the other girls in my group put her shoes near my bag and nudged it a little. Just enough for my sunglasses to go tumbling down behind these huge boulders. I figured they were lost forever. She felt really bad, but I immediately told her not to worry as they weren’t expensive. I then proceeded to even more precariously ‘slide’ into the water. The water was shockingly cold, but most likely because my body temperature was so high. Once I was in, I was a very happy girl. If there is a word that is better than refreshing, that’s what I was. It was absolutely phenomenal. I also heard that the snorkeling was interesting, but I hadn’t bothered to take my snorkeling gear from the boat. I was quite happy just to swim to the other end of the water, turn around and come back. I stuck around, treading water for a bit so that I could soak in all of the coolness that my body could take, then I delicately climbed up the rocks back to my gear.

I was glad to be one of the first ones out of the water because it gave me a little extra room to get dried off and put clothes back on. Then, I looked for my sunglasses. Lo and behold, I found them! I laid down on a rock and stretched as far as I could. With the very tips of my fingers I was able to reach them. YAY! I went to put them on my face and SNAP one of the arms immediately snapped off, not repairable. Oh well … they weren’t expensive.

I took a few photos of the interesting rocks near this swimming hole and then made my way back toward the beach over the rough rocky terrain in the sweltering heat.

Rocks in the Galapagos Islands
Rocks in the Galapagos Islands

On my way back I also took a few photos of a water area that I would call a lagoon or maybe a lake. Only problem was, it didn’t smell very pretty. However, I held my breath and took some beautiful photos.

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands

The beach was nice, but really not any nicer than anywhere else. I also knew that I wouldn’t be there for long as the rest of the group was only 5-10 minutes behind me. I snapped a few photos, but didn’t go swimming here.

We walked about five minutes back to the dock where Edilberto had to call for Armando to come get us. I think on the time we were on this island, Armando worked as a water taxi taking a few people back and forth between the small island areas. We probably waited for about 20 minutes or so. A few people got bored, so they took another water taxi home, but I waited and I’m glad I did. While we were there waiting I got some great photos of crabs, saw marine iguanas and golden rays (they are stingrays that have a yellowish gold color under the tip of their fin). The rays were particularly beautiful swimming in the water fairly close to us. There were two of them and they stayed together the entire time I could see them.

crab, Galapagos Islands
crab, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands, Gecko
Galapagos Islands, Gecko
Galapagos Islands, bird
Galapagos Islands, bird
Galapagos Islands, Marine Iguana
Galapagos Islands, Marine Iguana
Galapagos Islands, Golden Rays
Galapagos Islands, Golden Rays

Finally, Armando came back for us and we climbed aboard for our last short boat trip back to the main dock in Santa Cruz. Along the way I saw a bird on a rock and I loudly exclaimed ‘Is that a booby?’ I think everyone had a little chuckle at my expense. Edilberto politely told me ‘Yes, it is a blue footed booby’. So, Armando steered us in that direction where I got this photo.

Blue footed booby, Galapagos Islands
Blue footed booby, Galapagos Islands

Back on shore I thanked the guides, gave them each a hug and headed back to my hotel. Phew! What an exhilarating and absolutely fantastic day! And, it wasn’t over yet!

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