Friday, July 01, 2011

Los Lobos

Los Lobos del Callao, that is. Los lobos chuscos are sea lions. On my last full Sunday in Peru, we got up early and went to Callao, just next to Lima, to take this worthy craft:

We? That would be me, Gustavo and his sweetie Karina. This picture was taken near the beginning of the trip, before anybody looked truly green.

We set out on the three and a half hour trip (no, please, don't cue up the theme song for Gilligan's Island!) to the stark, brown Palomino Islands.

It was fairly calm until we got to the other side of the islands, to the rock called El Fronton. At first glance, this looks like mostly rock, right? Look more closely.

And here's the long view:

Maybe this one needed some personal space:

It was incredible to see so many sea lions at once! What you can't tell from these pictures, or from nature shows on television, is the smell. This many sea lions in a small space REEK! Whoa! I don't know if I've ever smelled anything quite so fishily awful. Still, seeing these creatures in the wild was well worth the smell and the motion sickness. Thank goodness Karina had the presence of mind to bring along some dramamine. Even with that, we were all a bit queasy.

There was a tour boat nearby that offered another option: swimming with the sea lions. Seemed like a bad idea. Sea lions are not dolphins. They're huge and have big teeth. Apart from the cold, I don't think I could stand to be any closer to the stench.

After the sea lions, we saw these piqueros peruanos--Peruvian boobies:

They were spread out all along the rocks:

We went around the islands to the habitat of the Humboldt penguins. I'd never seen penguins in the wild before. It was hard to take pictures because the boat was bobbing along, but I did get a few:

The temperature dropped as we made our way back to port. Almost everybody went below, but I was glad for the fresh air, even though it was cold. Karina was the only one of us who avoided getting sunburned, as you can see from the picture that night at a fancy restaurant.


Deb said...

Fantastic!! That must have been the most amazing excursion!! I love the photos and your account -- thanks, thanks, thanks, for this post. I'm so glad you got to go to El Fronton, and tell the tale...

Granny Sue said...

What do all those creatures eat on that stony island? I suppose fish is the diet staple?

Love the pic in the restaurant :)

Priscilla said...

Fish for breakfast, fish for lunch, and guess what's for supper?