|A well deserved break…lol|
Having dinner in Puerto Lopez the night before was a blessing in disguise…our drive there in the morning was smooth…we didn’t even ‘officially’ get lost…lol. Puerto Lopez is an old fishing town and one of the main tourist attractions is Isla de le Plata (Silver Island). It is about 50 km off the coast of Manabi and is part of the Machalilla National Park. It got its name from the large amount of guano (bird droppings) that stain the island’s dark cliffs. It appears to illuminate in the moonlight, once helping sailors navigate the ocean at night.
Shoes off, life jackets on, all aboard our boat called, “Amazing!” The sky was as blue as a sky could be, the ocean sparkled in the sunlight and the air was warm as we made our way to the island. Upon arrival, life jackets came off and sneakers went on in preparation for our hike to the top! When I say up, i mean UP…for nearly a mile. Fortunately, our guide stopped several times to share info about the island and its many birds such as frigates, blue-footed boobies, albatross, pelicans and some other seabirds. We DID make it to the top and the views were worth every grueling step (it was 90+ degrees and blaring sun the entire trip).
|A fisherman on a boat across from ours
lured a few sea turtles in, but when our
guide tossed in watermelon chunks, many
more came seemingly out of nowhere
We stayed quite awhile watching them
play and compete for the snacks!
|Frigate bird…they can fly for up to 3
hours and can sleep in the air
|Hikers must stay to the side
and in single file so as not to
disturb the birds – these
stretches of ‘road’ are what
birds use as a runway before
|Cool grandpa pic for the little
ones back home
|Our guide telling me about the birds…
sitting under cover was a good thing…
he could have told me anything and I’d
have been attentive…lol
|Blue-footed booby birds
(our pics didn’t turn out because the
boat was moving when we finally saw
them on a cliff just like this, soooo
this is a shot from the Internet)
|Our fearless leader…lol|
At the bottom, of course our shoes came off and went into the ‘group shoe’ bag and we donned our life jackets once again to head for our next stop…snorkeling. Our tour included lunch which consisted of cheese and jam and tuna and tomato sandwiches, watermelon, pineapple and 7-Up.
Snorkeling to catch a close up of the coral reef and spectacularly colored fish was enjoyed by all…except me. I tried, but my mild claustrophobia dictated my alternative activity. I laid back resting on a life jacket, watching the sky and feeling the warm breeze coupled with the cool water.
The ride back was sooooo relaxing. All in all it was a truly wonderful excursion. The only thing we probably would have done differently was to take more water! I….would have remembered my sunglasses as well…lol