Day 3: Espanola Island - the best by land and by sea...and lots of boobies

Espanola Travel Blog

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Gardner Bay: Hidden ray in sand

In my opinion, Espanola has the most to offer in the main central islands.  Gardner Bay and Punta Suarez are a 1-2 combination of ocean and land animals.

 

Gardner Bay: Has a huge sea lion colony that lounge around on the beach and in the ocean.  We snorkeled near big rocks in center and a rock wall on the left side of beach.  Near the big rocks, I played with 2 sea lions and saw a white-tip reef shark (tintorera).  In the rocks near the rock wall, I followed a huge sea turtle for about 10-15  minutes and scratched its back / patted its head while it was feeding on seaweed in about 2 feet of water.  It wasn´t really thrilled with my head stroking.  In the sand, there was a whole area of rays of up to 4 feet across hidden in the sand.

More sea lions!

 

Punta Suarez is an easy hike (2 hours done slowly) where we saw reddish marine iguanas (taking their color from the type of seaweed and algae they eat) which were fighting head to head, fearless Galapagos hawks near the pier, and surprise(!), another colony of sea lions. I realize I am getting a bit spoiled with natural lief.  There was a little sea lion only 3-4 days old.  We also saw:

- Blue footed boobies´ nests

- Masked boobies´ nests on the cliff

- Juvenile albatrosses (very ugly when they´re losing their feathers) and a couple of huge adults

- Fearless mockingbirds were everywhere.  Being that there are no natural predators in the Galapagos, animals are fearless.

- Tropic birds near the blow hole

- Beautiful panoramic view of cliffs and the ocean

- Cool lava lizards 

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Gardner Bay: Hidden ray in sand
Gardner Bay: Hidden ray in sand
More sea lions!
More sea lions!
More sea lions!
More sea lions!
More sea lions!
More sea lions!
Ray
Ray
My turtle friend
My turtle friend
Checking out the talent on the bea…
Checking out the talent on the be…
Searching for food
Searching for food
Meet my friend!
Meet my friend!
Swimming around
Swimming around
Baby sea lions!
Baby sea lions!
Baby sea lions!
Baby sea lions!
Baby sea lions!
Baby sea lions!
Me and the crew
Me and the crew
chilling
chilling
Don´t leave!
Don´t leave!
cruising from above
cruising from above
Huge ray in sand
Huge ray in sand
A lot of lounging
A lot of lounging
Solo lounging
Solo lounging
Beach
Beach
Punta Suarez - Big bull barking at…
Punta Suarez - Big bull barking a…
Reddish marine iguana
Reddish marine iguana
Reddish marine iguana making a move
Reddish marine iguana making a move
Baby sea lion with mother
Baby sea lion with mother
Blue footed boobies protecting the…
Blue footed boobies protecting th…
Blue footed boobie
Blue footed boobie
Blue footed boobie and egg
Blue footed boobie and egg
Taking turns midning the egg
Taking turns midning the egg
Leave my home!
Leave my home!
Masked boobie
Masked boobie
Masked boobie
Masked boobie
Masked boobies and nest
Masked boobies and nest
Masked boobie
Masked boobie
Albatrosses doing a dance which st…
Albatrosses doing a dance which s…
Masked boobie
Masked boobie
Masked boobie on nest
Masked boobie on nest
Masked boobies with baby boobies (…
Masked boobies with baby boobies …
Masked boobie protecting its chick
Masked boobie protecting its chick
Reddish marine iguana
Reddish marine iguana
Young albatross in foreground (ugl…
Young albatross in foreground (ug…
Young albatross in foreground (ugl…
Young albatross in foreground (ug…
Masked boobie protecting its egg
Masked boobie protecting its egg
Blow hole
Blow hole
Beautiful coastal view
Beautiful coastal view
Me near rocks with a whole shitloa…
Me near rocks with a whole shitlo…
Great view
Great view
Lava lizard
Lava lizard
Adult albatross...it is huge if yo…
Adult albatross...it is huge if y…
Fat reddish marine iguana
Fat reddish marine iguana
Beach near landing
Beach near landing
American oystercatcher
American oystercatcher
Reddish marine iguanas lounging
Reddish marine iguanas lounging
Mocking bird - Reddish marine igua…
Mocking bird - Reddish marine igu…
Blue footed boobie posing
Blue footed boobie posing
Blue footed boobie posing
Blue footed boobie posing
Baby sea lion
Baby sea lion
Baby sea lion
Baby sea lion
Zayapa crab going for a stroll
Zayapa crab going for a stroll
Mockingbird
Mockingbird
Bull sea lion guarding the landing
Bull sea lion guarding the landing
Sunset
Sunset
Sunsets with bananas
Sunsets with bananas
Viva Ecuador!
Viva Ecuador!
117,189 km (72,818 miles) traveled
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photo by: slimbolima