Our visit to San Cristóbal was for a specific target bird we needed - the San Cristóbal Mockingbird. This island is a tourist destination, with a usually busy port and lots of tourist shops and such. On our arrival we boarded a few pickup trucks for a short drive into the highlands and the local cemetery. This is typically the best spot to see the mockingbird. Not so much on the day we were there. After scouring the cemetery with no luck, we walked along the road for a while. Still nothing... Uh oh... Back in the vehicles we drove farther into the highlands. Ripping up the paved road at a pretty good clip and scanning the sides of the road, several folks started screaming out, "mockingbird!" There were two birds perched on a utility wire. Our driver slammed on the brakes and the two vehicles behind us did the same. The vehicle in front of us had missed them and kept going. Luckily they noticed nobody behind them quickly enough, and turned around. We all piled out and stood in the middle of the road admiring a new life bird (actually, a bunch of them). We hung around in the drizzling rain for long enough for good looks, then headed back down the hill. Mission accomplished!
|The port at San Cristóbal|
|San Cristóbal Cemetery|
|Looking for the non-existent mockingbird|
|San Cristóbal Mockingbird|
We spent and hour back at the port town being tourists and supporting the local economy. When we were there in June, tourism had just opened back up and visitors had been few. The local shops were glad to see us and even happier that we spent some money!
|Susan says hello to Charles Darwin|
|Hanging out with Chuck|
We were nowhere near done for the day. Back on the big boat we motored on to the close by Santa Fé Island. This small island has no human inhabitants, but it does have birds, a really cool reptile, and great snorkeling.
The Santa Fé Land Iguana can grow to three feet long and weigh as much as 25 lbs. While it may look like a carnivorous dinosaur, they are herbivores eating mostly cactus leaves.
|Santa Fé Island|
|Tree Prickly-Pear Cactus (Opuntia echios)|
|Santa Fé Land Iguana|
|These trees grow big!|
|Santa Fé Land Iguana|
And we got to go swimming just off-shore, near some rocks, with many sea lions - too much fun! When you watch the video, keep an eye out for the big alpha male. What a beast!
If the video above isn't showing, click HEREOn to Santa Cruz Island!