South Plaza Island, Day 7

The wildlife of South Plaza Island beckons…

 Swallow-tailed gulls, South Plaza Island, Galápagos Islands, EcuadorThe boat we have chosen for our 8-day Galapagos adventure is the 14-passenger MV Samba.  It’s small in comparison with some of the leviathans that cruise these waters, but fewer passengers should mean a more intimate wildlife experience.  The downside is that our bijou cabin is in the bow of the boat which puts us in intimate contact with the feisty Pacific Ocean.  The Dramamine is now on tap.

We barely get our bags stowed before we embark upon our first foray ashore.  Our first guided walk is on South Plaza Island, which is within spitting distance of its larger neighbor Santa Cruz. South Plaza is small, rocky and the main vegetation is massive prickly pear cactus and a covering of red carpet weed.   As promised, the wildlife is prolific and friendly.  Sea lions frolic in the waves and hang out on the rocky shore completely oblivious to us camera-toting tourists.  Nestled beside the sea lions are the large yellow/orange land iguanas, while swallow-tailed gulls (with their brash red eye liner) gaze unconcerned at the latest visitors to their tranquil home.

Back aboard the MV Samba, and some of the guests are mutinous.  Extra, unanticipated visitors are sharing their cabins: cockroaches.  It’s only a matter of time before these evil little bastards find their way to our abode so Christi and I listen intently as the English-speaking guide, Juan Tapia, mediates with the captain – a big old sea-faring dog if ever there was one – who appears less than sympathetic with this mutinous behavior.  The welcome cocktails are a rather cool affair, but dinner is tasty and plentiful.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weary Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.

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