Naturally, it was an early morning, this time to take another two-hour speedboat charter back to Santa Cruz, where we’d have a final day in the Galapagos to do some more exploring of Puerto Ayora. It was nice to have the time to kick back and relax.
An infant sea lion making it’s maiden voyage
As we walked the Puerto Ayora pier to get to shore, we heard a sea lion barking. We also heard a more muted barking sound. That’s when we saw a mother sea lion with her baby. Alex was able to confirm from the locals that the baby was only a few hours old and hadn’t yet been introduced to the water.
We scurried to get as close as we could to get a view of the mother trying to coax her newborn into the water. She was so patient, first getting in the water to see if it would follow her in, peeking up every few seconds to make sure her baby was okay. Then the back and forth barking began. Eventually, mama had enough and more physically nudged the pup in the water. What a sight!
Finally, some time to relax
If you haven’t noticed, this has been a very on-the-go kind of trip. We haven’t had a lot of time to relax really relax. So we were pretty delighted to hear it was going to be a laid-back day at the beach.
First, we headed to our hostel to drop off our stuff. Hostel Morning Glory is very clean and centrally located, and there are cozy hammocks EVERYWHERE.
After, we headed to Calle de los Kiosks (kiosk street) to get a traditional Ecuadorian lunch. For just $5 it included a huge bowl of soup, an entree (I opted for shrimp with garlic sauce), and a freshly prepared juice. It was tasty. We then proceeded to the spot next door to get some ice cream as a way to escape the heat.
Alex promised us that Las Grietas (or the Gorge) was something we’d enjoy. First, we took a short, $1 water taxi ride to Finch Bay Hotel Dock, which was the start of the half-mile trail. As we walked, we passed by Playa Punta Estrada Beach, which offered white, sandy beaches and shallow, warm water to wade in. We kept walking and passed pink salt mines before coming to the Gorge, this impressive crevasse that sliced between a lava quarry.
The Gorge is fed by both the ocean and natural spring, combining to make water consistency known as brackish. I was amazed to learn while swimming that I could open my eyes under water without any pain. The water was cool and clear, and very much welcomed. Afterward, we headed back and hung out on the beach for a couple hours.
Dinner brought us back to Calle de los Kiosks, where we stopped at TJ’s Restauante, which offered huge portions and 3 for 1s for just $10. I stuck to the 2 for 1 for $7. We were all pretty wiped after and headed back to our hostel for the night. Naturally, we had an early morning ahead of us.