We’ve been in San Cristobál for a few days now and every new one comes with a surprise. We visited Playa Mann where the sea lions lay around us and I could swim with them in the water. It’s similar at Playa Punta Carola, only more extreme.
The beach is remote, so you have to climb a narrow path, like the tunnels, over black lava rocks and through the trees, which are dry at this time of year, to get to the long beach. There is no sand here. The white particles are all made from ground shells and coral.
Hordes of sea lions lurk here, but not one minds stepping just past them or stepping over their cubs. A blue-footed booby performs aerial performances over the water. He flies along just above the surface and dives under in a flash to shoot along just below the surface there as well.
Then the dolt rises out of the water like a nuclear missile fired from a submarine and does another lap.
Occasionally, the blue-footed booby misjudges and lands in a wave before diving under the water in a controlled manner. Then there is a small flip, followed by a pause during which the bird catches its breath on the water.
Hence the appropriate name for the booby. His feet are also really sky blue.
At other beaches we see more of these flying acrobats and see them nesting among the solidified lava rocks. Even the birds are not shy and let us get close to their nest.
In the south of the island there is also the version of the gannet with red feet. We see a few of them nesting among the blue peers. I wonder if a romance between both birds would result in a purple version.
We make a brief stop at a museum near the beach called the Interpretation Center.
You can only enter a modern building in the middle of a desert of cacti if you sign a bored doorman. There is an overview of the geographical history of the islands as well as the wildlife and settlement. Nobody is here. It looks like the place only classes go with their geography teacher.
This is how we spend the first and many of the following days on San Cristóbal. But we also explore the highlands, which look very different.