Puerto Ayado, The Galapagos

Where the sealions come to lunch

We flew into the Galapgaos with Aerogal directly from Guayaqul in Ecuador and are on our way to join the yacht Queen of the Galapgos whose cruising area is one of the world’s most famous preserves of nature.

We landed on the small island of Baltra, just off the north coast of Santa Cruz. During the Second World War it was a US military base but now it just houses an airport. The narrow channel separating us from Santa Cruz Island (Indefatigable) is crossed by a flotilla of blunt bowed ferryboats.

We hire a taxi, a four-door pick-up truck, and drive for 45 minutes south across the island to the town of Puerto Ayaro and our hotel Solymar.

Our welcome drink on the patio overlooking the sea was interrupted by the arrival of, first, a rather large Pelican who ambled over towards us as if in a greeting. He posed for photographs and then waddled off on his large webbed feet across to where an American family were having a drink. There sleeping like a Labrador dog at his master’s feet lay a sealion basking in the sun, eyes closed and gently snoring. The camera click, and she opened an eye and we will swear we heard her say: “Do you mind? I am sleeping!

The sealion was tagged with the number 659 and it was obvious that she had chosen the hotel patio because of the shade the covered veranda offered from the midday sun. What was amazing however was that she co-existed with man without interaction. She was not begging for food nor was she being fed!

We lunched at The Rock were we ate fresh tuna cooked to perfection washed down with a bottle of excellent local beer.

Queen of Galapagos is available for charter through Robert Shepherd at Edmiston


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