It gets easier to sleep on the boat after the third day. The alarm went off at 5:00 am. The first stop was Santa Fe Island. Its main attraction is the terrestrial iguana, which feeds from the fruits of the cactus and endemic plants of the area. We saw one of those iguanas on our tour, it was difficult not to admire its pale yellow color.
Christian, the guide, explained us the scenery we had in front of us: a large amount of giant cactus. Millions of years passed and the cactus evolved and became bigger to protect its flowers and fruits from the terrestrial turtles, extinct about 200 years ago approximately. Its stem became smoother so the iguanas couldn’t climb it and the thorns of its leaves kept the birds away. Yes, Galápagos is the place where magical things happen. At lunchtime we returned to the Odyssey – the yacht – to eat. All the crew and the chef treated us wonderfully. And even though we were a bit late, Team USA had time to rest and gain some energy. The visit to the Islas Plazas was scheduled for the afternoon. These are actually two separate islands: Plaza Norte and Plaza Sur. Plaza Sur is home to at least 1.000 sea lions. They are on the path that the authorities of the Galápagos National Park have built. They sleep under the bushes, or in the middle of the sand, everywhere in fact. And because is our third day here, we are already accustomed to seeing sea lions everywhere. The hike at Plaza Sur is a bit difficult because of its proximity to several cliffs. Here the sea lions slip between the stones to end up in the ocean. The layer of fat that covers their body helps them to move without feeling pain on their skin.
When we arrived at the end of Santa Fe Island we had a breathtaking view of birds and sea lions throughout the sand and bushes. We were all contemplating the ocean waiting that tomorrow, our last day, to be the best day ever.