August 30, 2006 - Ecuador, Day 8 (afternoon)

We're greeted as we step back onto the island by a brightly-colored marine iguana.

Espanola lighthouse.

Family o' ignuani, gathered together at the end of the day for warmth.

sea lions everywhere!


The sea cubs are so cute!

Lava lizard.

Just a cool view!
From a distance, you can hardly tell that all the scenic rocks are totally crap-covered!

We watch the sea lion sleeping on the rocks with the waves crashing behind him.

This was the path we had to walk on.
It wasn't quite as even as it looked - and after about 1/2 mile, it gets tough.

More Nazca boobies.

His mating call. It is a cool hooting-whistle.
(No zoom. You can get this close and they just don't care.)

Wow - they're such prolific pooers!
One of 'em checks me out.

Mating dance of the Nazca booby.

Shhh... he's sleeping...

Our first sighting of a waved albatross.

As a couple gets it on, this albatross starts to run, flapping its huge webbed feet along the rocks...

...and just when you figure the goofy, clumsy bird must have its wings clipped, it shows a little progress,

...then takes to the air and slowly lifts away from the jagged earth.

Their chicks are fugly.

A Galapagos hawk looks back toward the chick. I'm guessing it won't do anything with its parents nearby. The albatross don't have talons or sharp beaks, but they are easily twice the size of the hawk. You'll see scale later.

A pair gets all lovey-dovey.

The blowhole, eroded from centuries-old lava. Large waves send plumes of water into the air - probably 30 feet high.
(It is difficult to tell the height looking down on it from the cliff - and with the wind taking the 'steam' away so quickly.)

Another shot of the blowhole and the light rock that was our viewing platform.

Jill in front of a tired albatross.

A swallow-tailed gull and two marine iguanas.
The lizards must be great climbers because there was no easy way up that stone!

As we followed the path down to the boat, we encounter a pair of waved albatross that have decided they like our path.
I don't blame them; it finally smoothed out some!

They come a little closer to see what's up, standing awkwardly on their funny feet.

This guy walks right up to me and Andres (our guide) and poses.
Pictures don't do the feet justice; they are diamond-blue.

Tomorrow - Floreana island.