Galapagos week 3 … how is that possible that it is week 3 already? I don’t know about you, but I do like a routine and I am very comfortable in my routine here!
Classes are going ok, especially now I have my head back in learning mode. That said I am having to learn a lot of grammar and verb conjugations (unfortunately this is teaching me how little I know about English grammar). I am using a little more Spanish at home with my ‘family’ and around the time and feeling a little more confident about it. Of course, some days it really clicks and others I just seem to hit a wall and have not idea what is going on. 😬😂
I have been enjoying watching the football world cup (despite the fact that neither Ecuador nor New Zealand are in it and made the effort to watch most of the England games – it did help that they were all at midday! As I watched the England v Colombia game it seemed like such a long time ago I was playing football with the future Colombian football stars back in Taganga. Of course, it was not really that long ago but I have just done so much since then!
One of the things I really love about Puerto Ayora is that any day, every day, all day you can walk around town and see the wildlife interacting their fellow island inhabitants – sealions sharing benches with people, iguanas doing sun salutations on the footpath, sealions and pelicans waiting for scraps at the fish market (some patiently, others not so much). 😂
They illuminate the water front at night and there are always baby sharks and rays swimming around, avoiding the sealions and fishing pelicans (though I think they are too big for the pelicans to eat!).
After a week of classes, I walked down to the Charles Darwin Research station – I had been there before last year but enjoyed wandering around again, admiring the good work they are doing recovering the tortoise populations on the islands.
I ended up having a busy weekend (why does that always happen when you don’t plan it that way??). Saturday consisted of a morning of football watching before walking down to the beautiful Tortuga Bay. I walked down the beach to the shelter swimming area (the main beach has very strong currents so swimming is not allowed). I took the opportunity to get some swimming in and think I had probably swum about 1km before finding myself a little to close to a smallish reef shark!
Not sure who was more surprised (or scared) but we both swam in different directions pretty quickly and I decided I had swum enough. I had a beautiful stroll back along the beach taking photos of the wildlife … iguanas, fishing pelicans and other sea birds.
Sunday was diving day (quickly becoming my favourite day of the week). The first dive was at Mosquera again – and I saw the usage suspects … hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, rays, turtles and the most incredible school of barracuda which I swam amongst – so special.
Next dive was at Daphne. It was a dive site more in keeping with those I had dived in Fiji with coral formations covered in nudibranchs, Christmas tree worms and lots and lots and lots of colourful fish. We were joined on a couple of occasions by ever playful sealions and managed to wake a few sleeping turtles and reef sharks. In area, there were so many starfish – more than I have every seen in one place.
And then … on the way back to the boat we came across a large pod of dolphins so we quickly jumped back in to the water and caught up with. When the dolphins had moved on, they seemed to be replaced by sharks so we quickly jumped back in the boat. The dolphins then doubled back and swam around the bow of the boat for a while as we sailed home.
Dolphins around the bow, blue footed boobies fishing nearby and pelicans flying by – I can’t think of anything better! 😊
All in all, another amazing day out – to be honest, that is pretty standard for the Galapagos Islands and just I cannot underestimate how lucky I am to consider days (and dives) like this to be normal!!
The perfect day ended off just as well with a birthday celebration (mine) with my family.