Our last day in the Galapagos started stupidly early. As in we were off the boat and on North Seymour Island by 7am early. We started out by seeing the frigate birds up close. We'd seen a bunch of them flying behind the boat over the previous days, but they're SO MUCH BIGGER when you see them on the ground. A couple of the males had their balloons inflated, which was pretty spectacular.
They inflate the balloons to attract a mate and they stay inflated for up to eight days, during which time the birds can't eat. I still can't decide if that's batshit cray-cray or seriously impressive...
From there, we headed across to the other side of the island to see the blue-footed boobies. On the way, we past a couple of land iguanas, which were rather enormous and VERY sleepy looking:
So, blue-footed boobies. They're SUPER dumb. Apparently a bunch of juveniles die every year because they fly out over the sea, spot a fish they want, and dive into the sea with their beaks open, at which point their lungs fill with water and they drown. Also? Their version of building a nest is pooping in a circle and laying an egg in the middle of it.
So yeah. They're dumb. But also kind of cute in their dumbness:
|Apparently this is a mating dance|
|She doesn't seem very impressed...|
|Nest o' poop|
a) it was about 32 degrees C outside (90 degrees Fahrenheit);
b) the plane's engines weren't on;
c) this meant the air conditioning wasn't running.
Have you ever been in a giant metal cylinder in 32 degree heat with no air circulation? It was NOT enjoyable. Thankfully, the flight back to the mainland was uneventful. Back in Quito, we decided that we should go to Boca de Lobo for dinner again. It was even more phenomenal the second time around - we ordered a dish called Ferocious Chicken and everything!
The following day, we headed up the Teleferico cable car, which offers pretty awesome views over Quito:
Back down in the new town, London Bound and I wandered around a bunch of camping stores, where we came across this:
Yup. It's a sleeping bag with arms and legs. Because, you know, who doesn't want to look like a Teletubbie while they camp?!
London Bound left the next day, and I had five days in Quito on my own. You'd think I would have seen a bunch of stuff. NOPE. I spent a crapton of time on the internet, drank a lot of hot chocolate, watched an awful lot of television ("Soopernatooral: Miercoles en Warner Channel!" featured quite strongly), and ate FAR too much for my own good. I also tried to find the archaeology museum that was apparently several blocks away, but failed miserably.
Next up? I spend forever flying to Guatemala, and climb an active volcano.