Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. It’s not an easy part of the world to reach and you need a good sense of adventure to explore the rugged terrain, but as Intrepid Express reader Michele Delaforce discovered, the Galapagos have a unique way of making it worth your while…
“Swimming with the sea lions at San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands was one of the most exciting and memorable times of my life. We had to walk for an hour to reach a cove that was quite difficult to get to, but the rewards were worth it!
As we came over the ledge the ocean was a striking turquoise and the cove was alive with sea lions playing in the crystal clear water. We climbed down the rocks and put on our goggles, masks and flippers, then jumped in.
A young sea lion came over straight away and swam around us and then as I dove another one followed me. I somersaulted and the young sea lion copied everything I did. Eventually the parents came over and joined in the fun too.
I remember gliding through the water and looking down at a cheeky adolescent sea lion. It was coasting on its back in line with my body just inches away, when it suddenly brought its flipper up and smacked my tummy. We were told not to touch them, but I was not sure what to do if one touched me, so I went into a somersault and it followed me. We played like this for over an hour. They are such inquisitive animals and extremely social too. Another older one swam up to my face and we were eye-to-eye when it blew bubbles in my face. It was by for the most awesome experience ever!”
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* photo by Jenny Carter – Intrepid Photography Competition