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Lietuviskas aprasymas zemiau

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Days 103-105: Islas Galapagos. San Cristobal.

May 21-23, 2006

With three more days left until the beginning of the cruise and the increasing funny feeling that we had already met all the people of Puerto Ayora at least four times, we had no other option as to take the evil waterbus again and go to another island. Since the Galapagos boat services are limited to one daily ride to Isla Isabela and another one to Isla San Cristobal (boats to both islands leave from Puerto Ayora at 2PM every day), and we had already been to Isabela, the decision was easy.

This did not make the ride any easier, though! Either our prayers to Poseidon did not come through or he was too busy calming some other waters, but the 2.5-hour boat ride to San Cristobal was as sea-sickening as it gets... Well, at least the co-sufferers this time were lots of fun: two very friendly Basques, who told us so many exciting things about the Cuban socialism that we immediately knew we would have to go there at any price; three suspiciously happy Swiss Germans who spoke some bizarre German-like language which for sure was not German (shame on us, it was Swiss German!!); and one very crazy Czech, who had lost all his luggage somewhere on the way to the Galapagos, had taken somebody else's suitcase instead, then returned it to the owner but still had no idea where exactly his own stuff had gone and could not care less… Halfway to San Cristobal some dolphins showed up and swam along for a few minutes. This made the remaining half of the trip even more exiting as all of us kept looking around hoping to spot more wildlife.

With quiet narrow streets, cozy oceanfront cafes and significantly more locals than tourists, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (the main town of Isla San Cristobal and the capital of the entire archipelago) immediately became "our kind of place". It took us just a few moments to learn that it was also sea lions' kind of place! - These guys were everywhere: sitting on the boats at the harbor, hanging out on the beaches around town, strolling along the oceanfront boulevard or lying on the sidewalk benches. In Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, it is very dangerous to go for a walk at night because you stand very high chances to stumble over a sleeping sea lion. Could swear there were at least 3 million of them in town!!

About 2 miles east of town there is a hill overlooking the entire Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and the ocean beautifully dotted with cruise ships. The hill is called Cerro Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill) and is worth the climb for the astonishing views alone, but if you are lucky, you may even see some of those incredible red-necked birds circling around in the sky with their huge red "hearts" wide-open (but only during the mating season, which was not the case during our visit).
Cerro Tijeretas is also famous for being the landing site of Charles Darwin. The young scientist arrived to the archipelago in 1835 as a crew member of The Beagle. Today a huge statue of Darwin stands on the hill right above the historic landing point of the ship.

At the foot of the Frigatebird Hill lies a tranquil bay with perfect conditions for snorkeling. You can see some interesting fish and other marine life, but the main attraction is the sea lions. It is almost guaranteed that they will want to make friends with you! As soon as you get into the water they swim up to say "hi" and start playing some sort of catch-me-if-you-can game, which works like this: if you chase me, I'll run from you, and if you run, I'll chase you. There is also a modified version: I'll chase you, while you are chasing me (principally, swimming in a circle). If you get out of water, your playmates get out together with you and lie down right beside you :) All in all, sea lions behave very similarly to dogs. We should have tried throwing a stick to see if they had fetched it…

We had a chance to meet one of them in a rather uncomfortable situation. When we were done snorkeling, we saw him happily sunbathing right where we left all our belongings, which was one of very few places to get out of the water in this lava-formed bay full or sharp rocks. The Macho was very upset when we politely asked him to move so that we could come ashore. Fortunately, this male was not as big and angry as some of the old geezers that we had seen before, and after making a lot of noise and keeping us in the water for another 15 minutes he finally moved aside.

Tip #1 Do not forget that sea lions are social creatures and live in smaller or larger colonies. Each colony has one leader ("macho"), a big and sometimes aggressive alpha-male. One of the responsibilities of the "macho" is to protect the colony from intruders (like humans), so pay attention to his warning sounds if you do not want to have bite marks on your butt! :) The big guy can be distinguished by his stout build, high forehead and angry "barking" - it is easy to understand when you are not welcome…

Local quirks: The boat that takes you from Santa Cruz to San Cristobal is not allowed to enter into the harbor territory of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. It stops about 50 yards from the shore where taxi boats are waiting to pick up the passengers, of course, for a fee. The 50-yard taxi boat ride costs USD1. We have been explained that such policy divides the business opportunities between the two islands. Hard to discover the reasoning behind this, because a truly fair play should involve meeting the boats from Santa Cruz midway between the two islands and transferring the passengers to the boats of San Cristobal right there, in the open waters!

Click on the pictures to enlarge

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the entire archipelago

View from Frigate Bird Hill

Galapagu archipelago sostine - Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

A tribute to Charles Darwin. The huge statue stands on the way to Frigate Hill, right where the young scientist's foot first landed on the island

Paminklas Carlzo Darvino atminimui pastatytas kaip tik toje vietoje, kur jaunasis britu studentas pirmaji karta islipo Galapagu krantan.

Siesta time

Locals relaxing

Pietu miegelis

Sweet dreams…

Happy life

Kaip kas moka, taip tas miega!

Let's get loud!

Sea lion singing

Kelias i zvaigzdes

What a song…

Too much fish

Griuk aukstielninkas, kaip uzdainavo! :)

…good enough for an afternoon nap!…


O mums sis dainavimas visai patinka… ir snuduriuoti netrukdo! :)

… and for the regular tanning session!

Too lazy to ask for a margarita

Ir pasideginti muzikos fone maloniau!

Hey you two, get a room, will you?


O judu ka ten darote??..

Come join us for an underwater game!

Sea lions playing

Eiks su mumis pazaisti!

A little bit of flirting…

Snorkeling with sea lions

Truputi paflirtuosim…

…will lead to a serious friendship!

It is my rock!

O po to jau draugausim! :)

Somewhat tired…

Worn out

Truputi pavargom…

Another day is over…

San Cristobal sunset

Ir dar viena dienele baigesi… :)

Sea lion getting out of water (video clip, 5.4Mb)

Sea lion movie

Ruonis lipa i kranta (video klipas, 5.4Mb)

Nuvesk pelyte virs paveiksliuko, spustelk jos kaire ausele, ir paveiksliukas padides

103- 105-oji diena: Galapagai. San Cristobal. Juru liutu karalyste - juk musu cia - tik trys milijonai…

2006 m. geguzes 21-23

Siandiena nustebinome patys save - dar karta savanoriskai sedome I "izymuji" vandens autobusa, kurio veiklos subtilybes jau gana smulkiai apraseme reportaze apie kelione I Isabela. (Pradeda aisketi ligi siol tik teoriskai suvoktos savokos - mazochizmo - prasme. Taciau ka daryti, kada iki kruizo dar yra likusios trys dienos; Puerto Ayora'oje jau biciuliskai sveikinames su visais gyventojais, iskaitant vezlius ir iguanas; o vienintelis budas pakliuti I dar neaplankyta San Cristobal'io sala yra musu taip megstamas vandens autobusas??…).

Pries lipdami I siaubingaja valti ir krikscioniskai zengojomes, ir pagoniskai praseme Neptuno bent kelioms valandoms nuraminti vandenyna, taciau jokios priemones nepadejo - gavome dar viena 2.5 val. amerikietisku kalneliu doze. Si karta - i pietrycius nuo Santa Cruz. Malonioji dalis - sisyk bent jau turejome kuo keliones metu uzsiimti - kartu su mumis I San Cristobal'i plauke tikrai sauni kompanija: du labai draugiski baskai (vienas is ju - ka tik grizes is Kubos - pripasakojo tiek idomybiu, kad po to jau nei kiek nebeabejojome - privalome bet kokia kaina kuo greiciau pamatyti egzotiskaji kubietiskaji socializma) ir trys itartinai linksmi Sveicarijos vokieciai (visa kelia tyliai speliojom, kokia gi I vokieciu labai panasia kalba jie tarpusavy kalbasi, kol galiausiai nebeiskentem ir paklausem - reikia prisipazinti, kad sveicaru-vokieciu kalba girdejome pirma karta). Smagioj kompanijoj net ir pustrecios valandos "mazochizmo" prabego daug greiciau.

Autobusas velavo isplaukti, todel I Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - didziausia San Cristobal'io salos miesta - atplaukeme jau beveik sutemus. Sviesos trukumas nesutrukde pastebeti, jog siame mieste karaliauja juru liutai. Ir kur to nepastebesi, jeigu ju cia mazu maziausiai -kokie trys milijonai! Pavyzdziui, tamsioje prieplaukoje islipus is vandens autobuso, reikia labai atsargiai statyti koja, kad uz kokio vidury kelio prigulusio snustelti juru liuto neuzkliutum. O jeigu sugalvojate velai vakare pasivaikscioti gatve palei vandenyno kranta, be prozektoriaus eiti tikrai nerekomenduojame - juru liutai buriais drybso ne tik pakranteje ant smelio, bet ir ant suoliuku, saligatviu, betoniniu pertvaru ir netgi vidury gatves! (Puerto Baquerizo Moreno mieste masinas galima suskaiciuoti ant pirstu, tad jos netrukdo juru liutams karaliauti net ir keliuose…).

Kita ryta miesta stebeti buvo dar idomiau - gera pusdieni vaikstinejome pakrante ir spoksojome I dukstancius mazuosius liutukus bei tingiai sauluteje besikaitinancius vyresniuosius. Nupasakoti neimanoma (ziurekite nuotraukas!), kokiomis juokingomis pozomis jie ten sugule - visai kaip tinginiaujantys atostogautojai pliaze! Ligi soties is tokiu vaizdeliu prisikikene, nuzygiavome prie Carlzui Darvinui (Charles Darwin) skirto paminklo. Didziule statula stovi apie 4km uz miestelio, ant vandenyno kranto - tiksliai toje vietoje, kur pirmaji karta Galapagu krantan islipo "Beagle" igulos narys - jaunas britu studentas Carlzas Darvinas.

Nuo Carlzo Darvino paminklo siauras takelis veda aukstyn I Fregatu kalva (Cerro Tijeretas), nuo kurios labai graziai matosi visa 360 laipsniu panorama, susidedanti is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno miestelio kaireje ir Ramiojo vandenyno visose likusiose pusese, kiek akys uzmato. Fregatu poravimosi sezono metu, atseit, ore sklando sie egzotiski raudonpagurkliai pauksciai - todel ir toks kalvos pavadinimas. Mes, deja, nei vienos fregatos ta diena nepamateme - matyt, ne tas sezonas…

Fregatu trukuma netruko kompensuoti saunieji San Cristobal'io juru liutai - nusileide nuo Fregatu kalvos zemyn I pakrante, galejome ne tik dar karta pasiziureti, kaip jie zaidzia kristolo skaidrumo vandenyje, bet ir kartu su jais panardyti ir padukti!! Akivaizdu, kad draugiskieji juru liutai labai megsta nardytojus - vos isvyde mus vandenyje, tuoj pat eme vilioti i savo buri: sukosi ratu, praplaukdami pro sali vis "netycia" paliesdavo (o jei per mazai demesio skirdavom, tai ir stipriau nosim stukteldavo!), ir vis koketavo - jei plauki nuo ju - jau, ziurek, vejasi; o kai prie ju artinies - siek tiek palaukia, ir staiga sprunka salin… Iki soties prisiplaukioje, visi kartu susedom ant uolos, kur draugiskai dalinomes priepiecius ir sildemes sauluteje :) Ispudziai - sunkiai perteikiami zodziais. Ziurekite nuotraukas…

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