Neil Armstrong said that Bartolome is the closest to the moon that he's seen on earth. Well, Bartolome is the closest thing to heaven that I've seen on earth. Something about the colors and the hot sun and the physical activity just appeals to me. I love this place. The crazy thing is, we didn't do much here. Just climbed a bunch of steps. The view is awesome. There's just something in the air here. The orange sand plays off the green ocean below, and the wind kisses you in congratulations for reaching the summit. And, again, the snorkeling was perfect. Especially dipping into the cool clear water after climbing three million steps, or however many they SAY are there. There's one poor sea lion at this site who had to endure my endless diving and twirling in his face to capture his attention. That's safe to do, right? Oh, another joy was following a group of penguins straight into the line of fire. More poop.
This afternoon brought us to the island of Santiago. Santiago was a nice place to be. There was a colony of birthing sea lions. Kind of gross, but really good birth control. Neither my husband or I were interested in joining this group anytime soon.
I guess my husband fancies himself a boxer. He works with animals, so should be smarter than this, but he found himself in a dance with a female sea lion. They bucked and ducked in the surf. Husband thought he was tough. Ivan got a little nervous. But, hey, who's gonna stop a good show when they see one. It wasn't until the bull focused his attention on my "float like a butterfly" husband that husband snapped back into reality and stepped away from the wild animal.
Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the most adrenaline filled moment of our trip. Earlier on this day, way earlier, as in the sun hadn't rose, and the tiny cabin was feeling extra clauserphobic, husband and I climbed to the top deck with pillows and blanket in tow for some real sleep. About half an hour into our romantic sunrise rest, Pablo, the captain, appears, skipping the steps two at a time. We must have startled him, because he stopped short when he saw us. He tells us that whales are nearby. What?!!! Where?!! Husband and I spend the next ten minutes straining our eyes in search of a something, anything that looked whale-like. As soon as we stopped straining we looked over the deck to the left, and there was a huge eye staring back!!! Oh my gosh! The whales were SO big! Two of them jumped into the air RIGHT NEXT TO US! It took our breath away. We had the deck to ourselves for the closest sighting, but soon after Pablo made the announcement to the rest of the ship that there was a whale sighting. As the sleeping guests made their way to the top deck and the whales made their way farther into the ocean we heard gripings of, "Oh, I live in Syndey. I see whales all the time from my gym." Uh huh. I'm sure that's as cool as seeing it right next to you. Reminder: I've got to take another trip looking for more whales. I've never been so exhilerated.