Thursday, November 30, 2006

Plaza sur

Today I joined a tour to Islas Plaza (63$ incl.lunch). More specifically to the southern one of the two islands. Together with sixteen other tourists and two guides, we first drove for almost an hour across Santa Cruz, passing through several vegetation zones, then boarded the Santa Fe II, a small boat, for the cross-over to Plaza sur, a 90' sail. Along the way, frigates suddenly start flying close besides the boat. The reason's soon clear: at the stern, the cook is cleaning some fish for lunch.

 Frigate
As we approach our landing place, we are greeted by barking Galapagos sea-lions. Dominant males each cruising their stretch of shore, keeping an eye on their harem. Females sunbathing among the big rocks, feeding their young. Puppies waiting for their mommy to return. Plaza sur is indeed home to a whole colony of sea-lions. And I can get real close to some.

 Sea-lion
Besides these, on the surface, very lazy animals, there're also plenty of land & marine iguanas and several kinds of sea-gulls nesting on the steep cliff-side of the island.

 Land iguana
Note that day-trips like this one are not the best way to see the Galapagos. Unless you don't mind spending most of your precious time in transportation to & from the various islands. But, if like me you've got a few days to acclimatize before the real show, then of course it's an option.

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