Travel Journal

Galapagos – Santa Fe and South Plaza islands

(Tuesday 24 May 2011) by Mike and Julie's sort of round the world trip
Day 273 5/7/11
We made a wet landing at – wait for it – a sea lion colony and after taking more photos we took off on a hike. Between scratches, we saw many Santa Fe land iguanas which are endemic to this island and saw the giant opuntia cactus which is a favorite snack of the iguanas. The cacti grow large and have spiny trunks to keep the iguanas away until it decides to drop a bud for the iguanas to eat and spread its seed throughout the island. Again we were rewarded with great ocean views.
There was more snorkeling which I again passed on before we sailed on to Santa Cruz where I had joined the boat originally. Normally the ship wouldn’t return here but it was Election Day and all citizens are coerced into voting. After you vote, you’re given a certificate and if you require anything from the government like a driver’s license, permit, renewing your guide license; you have to show the certificate to prove you voted or you are denied any request. I pleaded with the guide to get me some aloe for my sun burn and he gave me a bottle of some lotion which not as good as aloe, provided relief.
After lunch, we sailed on to the South Plaza Islands for a dry landing there and a long hike. It was much the same as Santa Fe to my untrained eye but with a lot more seabirds. There was an incident in another tour group on the island where a bi-polar woman threw herself dangerously close to the cliff edge and began to get hysterical before being restrained. My group has some minor irritation habits as I’m sure they feel I do, but I think we were all grateful we were not part of her group as apparently her antics have been repeated several times.
Daniel played Dr. Quincy explaining the bones of an ex-alpha sea lion to us. Apparently after you have had your moment in the sun and are forced out by another, younger alpha male; the old sea lions head to less desirable land with rocky slopes down to the ocean rather than a nice beach and live there with other outcasts for the rest of their lives.
Back onboard, we sailed to the Itabaca Channel where we stopped for the night. Also the late duo that arrived left as they had signed up for a five day tour so I bid farewell to Henry although I knew I would see him again as we had the same flight out on Thursday.


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