Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ancient History, Volume XXII

Last time, I flew to the Galapagos and met tortoises, sea lions, and marine iguanas. And nearly died of fright when the door to my cabin fell open in the middle of the night...

The following morning, I was woken at the delightful time of 4.30am when we raised anchor to sail from Santiago to Bartolome. Thankfully, I was able to get back to sleep without too much trouble. By 7.45, we were in the dinghy and making a dry landing on the island of Bartolome. It was crazy volcanic, and pretty barren - kind of like walking on the surface of the moon! (I imagine, not having been to the moon...)

There was a half hour's walk to the top of the island, with numerous stops along the way to admire the view, particularly of this awesome underwater crater, caused by a giant lava bubble:


The walk got a lot harder from about half way up, because we were walking up shoddily built stairs that were on weird angles and unevenly spaced... Luckily, the view from the top was totally worth it!!

If you recognise this view, it's probably from any number of documentaries about the Galapagos, or possibly from Master and Commander. From there, we headed back to the boat to change, before being dropped off at the beach on the right in the photo above for a spot of snorkelling. We'd only just gotten into the water when our tour leader called out that there was a shark nearby and that we should go and check it out.

What he meant:
Source

What all the Australians imagined:
Source
So while we DID head over to see the shark, the snorkelling didn't last all that long! After lunch back on boat, we set sail for Sombrero Chino. On the way, there were a bunch of frigate birds following the boat, which was pretty awesome:

It was only a couple of hours sailing to Sombrero Chino, and I *MAY* have spent most of it standing on the upper deck of the boat, with my hands behind my back, pretending I was in an episode of Hornblower and singing the theme for HMS Indefatigable (see here) in my head. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW I ROLL.

Ahem.

Sombrero Chino (which, incidentally, DOES translate to what you think) is absolutely gorgeous. See?

And it's covered in all kinds of awesome lava formations:

And the usual dopey looking sealions:

And GALAPAGOS PENGUINS!!!

After the penguins, we'd exhausted Sombrero Chino's supply of wildlife and sights, so it was back to the boat for cocktails and dinner, before an early night.

Up next, more frigate birds, and blue footed boobies (which are quite possibly the dumbest birds of EVER)!

K xx

9 comments:

  1. I always feel intellectually superior when I can tell people that penguins do not always live in Antarctica. It's a Small World at DisneyWorld actually brought this up and caused quite the rift between JD and I...

    Thank you for posting pictures of non-icy penguins! Whee!

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    1. Victoria's tourism industry would be devastated to know that there are people who think that penguins only live in Antarctica. Although I'm sure the fairy penguins at Phillip Island would be THRILLED to not have an audience as they walk back to their burrows every night!

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  2. HAHAHA you said boobies!

    (Sorry.)

    And dude, you totally downplayed the Galapagos! Were you trying to not make me feel bad about missing it? Because that stuff looks AWESOME!!!

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    1. (Also, I just realised that sound like some sort of gnarly airheaded surfer dude/chick. Which I am, like, totally not.)

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    2. I think so much of the awesome was related to what we were seeing, which makes it hard to write about (especially four years after the fact!). What we were DOING largely boiled down to "sitting on a boat" or "snorkelling" or "trying not to accidentally stand on a lizard", which gets repetitive after a while!!

      I nearly bought C a t-shirt that said "I <3 boobies" and had a picture of boobie feet on it. But I didn't want to carry it around for five weeks, so I decided against it.

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  3. Sombrero Chino is niiiiiiiice, definitely gorgeous.

    The "what he meant/what all the Australians imagined" made me chortle, bahahah. INDEED. Cue Jaws score and frantic flailing. Eeeek!

    While snorkelling on Hayman Island last year, Yogi and I had a stingray just nonchalantly go past and I almost lost it. Yes, I know, I know, they don't sting you unless provoked, blah blah blah, but what if I'd accidentally "provoked" it or swatted it with my fin without realising, and then it harpooned me with its barbed sting?!

    My brain is so Simpsonised that whenever I say "what if" I remember the following classic exchange:

    Marge: "According to this book, the Monorail goes over 150 miles an hour! What if something goes wrong?"
    Homer: "'What if.' What if I stepped in the shower and slipped on a bar of soap? ...oh my God, I'd get killed!!"

    Bwah!

    XOXO

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    1. Weirdly, I was far more concerned about the shark situation HERE than I was in Belize where we jumped off the side of the boat into BIG shark/stingray infested waters... Maybe because I knew what I was getting myself into rather than in the Galapagos where the guy was all "Oh, hey, shark! Come check it out!!"

      I'm a terrible snorkeller anyway. I have a tendency to panic about absolutely nothing. Every snorkel I've ever used gets given back with the bits you clamp between your teeth bitten off. Whoops??
      xx

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  4. PENGUINS!

    Thus ends the most pointless comment ever. I blame the penguins.

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    Replies
    1. That was pretty much my reaction when I saw the penguins. Or, you know, any time I see penguins, really!!

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