Today was an eventful day of explorations! We woke up to three roosters calling to each other from across town, and after Zach declared with a vengeance that dinner would be sopa de pollo we decided to go find some breakfast to calm our nerves. We grabbed a quick bolon (a plantain and cheese ball) and some empanadas and then rented some bikes to explore the town and the snorkel spots around us. We headed off to most distant one, only a 15 minute ride, called La Loberia. Lobos are sea lions, and as the name suggests there were a ton of them, including a pup that couldn’t be more than a few days old. The water was probably the coldest I’ve ever been swimming in, so cold that it gave us brain freezes as soon as our heads touched the water. But, it was worth it. We saw about six sea turtles, and a few pups came out to play in the water with us. After this, we climbed on the bikes and headed across town to the other farthest spot, Punto Carola. Here, we saw even more sea turtles and another, less friendly sea lion colony. Only a few were in the water, and as Zach floated behind a turtle the alpha male took notice and lumbered into the water barking. Zach didn’t seem concerned by this behavior, but I told him we needed to get out of the way as soon as the male strafed me in the water as well. As we were getting out, a very young and overly curious pup swam out to us, pissing off the alpha, who chased us onto the beach. I didn’t have time to get my fins off, and got stuck in the sand with the alpha barking and snarling a few feet away. Zach grabbed my arms and dragged me up onto the beach as the alpha corralled the pup away from us. We were happy to ride back to town and grab some ice cream, exploring briefly a few other beaches on the way back without any further mishaps.
Tomorrow, San Cristobal should be getting the best swell in two months. All the surfers in town are gearing up for a good surf. Zach will probably catch a water taxi out to Tonga Reef in the afternoon. I will probably walk back to La Loberia, since there is a large colony of masked, blue footed, and red footed boobies just a little further down the trail from where we were today. I will let you all know how that goes in the next few days!
T + Z