January 15, 2012
SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND
I met with Stu and a German guy named Sebastian for breakfast, we shared travel stories.
After breakfast I sat on a bench a few feet from a sleeping sea lion waiting to catch the boat. Within a few minutes another sea lion decided to come up and try to take my bench away. The sea lion sniffed my leg, then hopped on the bench beside me and then jumped up on a table beside the bench.
I was at the pier at 10 am but as I have found out we are on Ecuadorian time which is similar to most of Latin America. We did not get picked up to board the boat until 11:15. I was not worried at all, Stu and I had a laugh about our experiences of South America so far. Ulrike seemed to have difficulty understanding why people cannot be on time, especially when we are paying money for a service. There seems to be some travelers who cannot accept the ways of another culture and are too rigid in the way things should be. I had previously read a book called "Culture Shock Ecuador" over a year ago when I was considering a move here and the book also very clearly made the point about Latin American time. Complaining to the people will not do anything but create a bit of a rift and it can distance someone easily. I have found everyone to be pleasant and just have another way of doing things that I accept.
The boat was a nice boat with pleasant staff, and Felipe was the English speaking guide. Once on board we had a very nice lunch with very attentive staff. We then had an hour to relax before snorkeling time! It was on overcast day so the water was not as clear as it could have been, it did however feel amazing to be in the pristine waters of the Galapagos.
The guide said that this is a place where the wildlife has not learned to fear humans. They are easy to approach and many times will approach humans out of curiosity. People are not allowed to touch any of the animals and in some cases touching them can lead to their death. Sea lions use two methods to recognize their young, sound and smell. If a young sea lion pup gets a human scent on it, the pup will be rejected and will die.
There were two female sea lions that got into a heated debate with each other. The guide said it was the first time he saw females fight each other, it is common to see males fight but not females.
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