Wildlife Extravaganza

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Well well well... What is there to say about this experience? I'm somewhat tempted to say a picture tells a thousand words, so if you look in my album below there is about 56,000 of only the best words... But then I wouldn't get to talk about how there weren't just 4 or 5 sea lions, there was hundreds to thousands scattered throughout each of the beaches. From the pictures you also wouldn't be able to gather how inquisitive these creatures were. You would walk along the beach and the pups would come up and sniff your leg. Or if you were lucky as you were swimming, they would come and swim around you and play with you. The hardest thing was not being able to pat them. Then there were the iguanas: land, marine and hybrid. It was their mating season so the males were generally brighter in colour and more active than usual. They loved to spit at unsuspecting tourists as they walked past and get into territorial battles with each other, which often resulted in them running around in circles chasing each other’s tail, or bumping heads. The Boobies were always going to be a highlight. With a name like that, how could they not be! In fact there were so many boobies that it kind of reminded me of a time when I was 13 and I was walking along a topless beach in Cairns. And of course, like the rest of the animals, you were not permitted to touch the boobies, even if you took them out to dinner first… My favourite was the Blue Footed Booby. No one knows why they have blue feet, but the colour was very impressive. We also saw Nazca Boobies, which were looking after their newly hatched chicks.

Snorkeling in the crystal clear blue water was a whole new kettle of fish (like what I did there?) There were schools of bright coloured tropical fish, sea turtles, stingrays and manta rays, oh and sharks… On our boat we had two French guys who spoke little English, however, they knew the word "shark." This meant that they didn’t say too much unless they were snorkeling and they saw a shark. Then everyone knew about it! Jaclyn, who was not to keen on the idea of swimming with sharks, was therefore not to happy to hear the Frenchmen speak as it generally meant bad news for her. On our final day we were also lucky to come across a pod of more than 1000 dolphins. It was amazing to watch from the bottom deck as the dolphins weaved in and around each other as they raced the front of the boat.

Other land highlights included a number of walks around the islands and a visit to the local post office. This was unlike your Australian Post, as it requires you to leave a post card with no stamp and wait for a person who lives close by to its recipient to collect and deliver it for you. We managed to find one for someone who lives in Dandenong that Jaclyn hopes to deliver it (if she can find it) when she gets home in April. 
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