It was off to the Galapagos today so, after breakfast, I got a taxi to the airport, where I was in plenty of time, so could sit and read a book over a cup of coffee for a while. I thought it was going to be an empty plane, given the lack of people waiting, but had forgotten that all the flights to the Galapagos from Quito stop in Guayaquil, so the plane was actually packed when I boarded.
It was a short flight, during which time I read and then chatted to the American couple sitting next to me. There seemed to be a lot in their group (judging by the noise) but apparently it was only 16. On arrival, the queue was extremely slow moving through immigration as we all had to pay our entry fee and have documents checked yet again.
I was met by a representative from the tour company and taken, first to the hostel and then to lunch. There was only a young German couple in the group so far as the rest were arriving tomorrow.
After lunch, our guide, Jocelyn, took us to get fitted for snorkelling gear and then we were off to Loberia beach, to snorkel and look for marine iguanas and other wildlife. The shore comprised coal coloured lava rock which was quite spectacular. At the beach, there were a number of sea lions, who were obviously very used to people, given that they tolerated them within very close proximity.
I had a short snorkel and saw a few fish and a stingray but it was quite murky after the rain and, with the incoming tide, the current was quite strong. We stayed for about an hour and then continued along the shoreline, where Jocelyn pointed out other creatures. The waves meanwhile were crashing along the rocks in front of us.
We caught a taxi back to town where Jocelyn appeared to be relieved to leave us to our own devices until tomorrow. I wandered through the town, bumped into the Americans from the plane again, and watched the colony of sea lions on the beach. There were quite a number of boats anchored in the bay and the sea lions did not confine themselves to the beach!
Afterwards, I couldn’t find the hostel but eventually spotted the owners sitting outside. I should have taken notice of some landmarks! I met the German couple for dinner at the same restaurant that we had lunch in (all included in the tour) and then we went in search of cheap water. I had been horrified to have to pay 75 cents for 500mls earlier in the day. Luckily, we eventually found a small shop that had large bottles that worked out a bit cheaper. The Germans had already been here for a day and realised that everything (not surprisingly) was very expensive.