North Seymour before heading back to Baltra
Last night's ocean crossing took as back over the equator, so we were once again in the Southern Hemisphere. We had an early walk on North Seymour Island, before having breakfast. On the island, we were again greeted by a cast of now familiar favorites - sea lions, boobies and iguanas of both sorts. The island is flat and easily navigated in a circular path. Our last treat - a flock of black frigate birds showing off their scarlet balloons. Again the sky was dark and the landscape dry, so the contrast of the black of the birds and the red of their throat sacks was striking. The larger the sack, the better the mate - or so Victor told us as we watched this group of male frigates giving us a grand display. Victor told us of the dangers these birds face while doing this ritual and that a rupture in the sack could have lethal side-affects. It was just a reminder that nature is as cruel as it is kind.
And our way back to the boat, we would come across another reminder that nature is not always beautiful. Just off the path, we found a mother sea lion with a still born pup. It was small and barely the size of my fist, so it had obviously not reached its correct gestational size. I cried and realized this was a much a part of the natural world as the birth we had witnessed a few days before. That what makes these islands so unique and so magical - you can not get away from life the way nature intends it to be.
After breakfast, we packed our things, just before arriving back in the cove we had started out in 7 days earlier. We said our goodbyes to the crew, made sure we had everyone's emails and set out in the dinghy one last time. The same bus was at the pier waiting for us, to shuttle us back to the airport for our flights back to the mainland. Victor actually accompanied us because he was also flying back to the mainland to visit his family. We had time to spare at the airport, so we peeked at the souvenir stalls, ordered a few snacks and simply waited. The Guantanamera would be receiving a whole new gang of tourists, who would be arriving on the same plane that we were now waiting for. We were the only ones headed to Guayaquil, while the others were all headed to Quito. Once on the plane, with one last look out the window over the islands, I realized we were headed back to life on the road.