Day 8

April 30, 2007

Kicker Rock

We woke up in the morning moored off the island of San Cristobal. During breakfast we sailed the short distance to Kicker Rock, which is a huge rock jutting out of the ocean, which is slowly splitting into several rocks. Kicker Rock is also a nesting place for many birds, including frigate birds. We sailing around Kicker Rock and then our boat went right through the gap between the too main rocks, with on several feet clearance on either side of the boat.

Kicker Rock GalapagosCrack in Kicker RockKicker RockMichelle at Kicker RockKicker RockKicker RockThrough Kicker Rock

Loberia Sea Lions and Birds

We first went for a walk around the small island of Loberia (Lobos). There were frigate birds, a few of which were showing the inflated red pouch that the male uses to attract mates. There were also a few blue footed boobies and of course the ever-present sea lions.

After the walk, we went snorkeling on the coast of Loberia with about 10 young sea lions. The sea lions were very curious and very playful, swimming around us and and chasing each other in the water. The water was very cold, but I didn't notice swimming with my new friends the sea lions.

Friendly Sea LionUpside Down Sea LionCactus FruitSea Lions come to VisitBlue Footed Rock

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

At noon, we arrived at the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal. Smaller than Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, this is the second largest town in the Galapagos Islands. There were a lot of fishing boats in the harbor, and some of the buildings were quite colorful.

Sea Lion on the DockCactus SunsetYellow and BlueMark on the BoardwalkPuerto Morena SunsetSeal Lion Evicted

Highlands of San Cristobal Island

We boarded a small bus and drove up into the San Cristobal highlands. Like Santa Cruz, the highlands were more lush and green. Our first stop was a tortoise reserve, where we saw tortoises living in a "semi-natural" environment. The project is designed to relocate tortoises to this part of the island. To encourage the tortoises to stay here, they are fed and provided with artificial wallow pools, etc. The reserve had quite a few Poison Apple trees, poisonous to people but delicious to giant tortoises.

From there, we went to a nearby lookout for some great views. Later we headed back to the town and went to the museum there, which is very well done, showcases the history of the wildlife and the people of the Galapagos Islands.

San Cristobal HighlandsPoison Apple Tree

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About Day 8

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