Monday, August 9, 2010
Snorkling after seeing the whales.
The boat we took to see the whales! They crammed 2o people on this boat.
Porto Lopez- on the way to see some whales
The beach at Porto Lopez
Martin and I about to board the boat to see some whales!
This fisher boat was sinking and we towed it in on the way back to shore.
The birds followed us back because there was fish in the boat
I marked another thing off of my bucket list, whale watching! What a site! Martin (he works for the hotel and is from Norway) and I went to Porto Lopez, which is a town about 5 hours south of San Clemente on the coast. We woke up really early and caught a bus from San Clemente to Porto Viejo and then from there to Yipiyapa (sp?) and then from there to Porto Lopez. You never know with the bus system here. You could have a brand new bus with A/C and a movie playing or you could get a bus like we did that is rusting so bad and everything is literally falling apart. It's always an adventure here! We were literally holding on tight when the bus was taking sharp turns all the way around the mountains here. But the driver was just whistling away to some salsa music like he knew the roads with his eyes closed! And yes the following is a true statement and I must repeat this is a TIE moment...people DO bring their chickens on the bus with them, dead and alive!
Next stop! Porto Viejo...we got off the bus and was immediately bombarded with people wanting to take us on the whale tours. They gave us a ride to the beach and we waited and waited and waited to get on a boat. Finally after waiting about an hour we were loading the boat. Europeans, Ecuadorians and Americans...oh my!
***Please note I have been on many boats before and rarely get sea sick, but the following will help you understand WHY I WANTED TO PUKE MY GUTS OUT!
The boat we got on (picture above) was small, but fierce! Little did I know what I was getting myself into. Whales! YAY! 2 hours of full force wave slamming- NO THANKS! The trip started out great! Splashing through all the waves, bouncing the boat up and down-water flying everywhere, everyone was laughing! I mean EVERYONE! We thought it was great, our hair whipping in the wind and the spray of the water making our eyes water. The water was glistening from the suns reflection and I was so excited to see some whales!
So, 20 minutes goes by everyone still laughing, then 30 minutes goes by. At about 45 minutes into the trip out to find whales everyone is quiet, holding onto the rails and holding their breath....
After an hour and a half of water spraying and boat slamming I was about to puke and we had still not seen whales. At this point I was questioning whether or not whales existed and I was glad I didn't eat anything. Plus, they crammed us so full we were touching shoulders. I turned around to find land and hope the world would stop spinning and there was none in sight, just waves upon waves.
Just as I was about to make my way to the toilet, someone yells "Ballena's" (whales). My eyes lit up as the boat comes to a swaying halt. And this is what I saw....
These pictures don't even describe what I saw! The most beautiful creatures in the world. So big, yet so graceful! They always came around the boat in pairs and just seemed to glide through the water. The little boys on the boat kept looking for the shadows every time they went under and would shout ballena's! Everyone would be talking on the boat, but the second the whales appeared it was dead silent, like everyone was holding their breath! It was really hard to get pictures of them though, because as soon as they would come out of the water they were back in it. I took some videos, that I have attached.
The ride back to shore wasn't nearly as long as the one out there. However, we did make two pit stops. One was to pick up a few pirate looking guys in a little fisherman's boat and the other was to go snorkling. The fisherman boat we picked up was literally sinking as we pulled by it. One guy was paddling and the other one was throwing buckets of water off the side as the seagulls hoovered over them waiting for some fish. We tied their boat to ours using a small rope. It was pretty entertaining watching them!
Then we stopped at this cove to do some snorkling...none of us knew this was part of the plan and it was an extra $35 to use their mask and snorkle, which is flat out ridiculous! So I let the guys from Spain use my waterproof camera and he got one fairly good picture (at the top).
Needless to say...my whale watching adventures in Porto Lopez turned out to be a life long memory!
Look forward to my next blog about Montanita...the party town!!! Coming soon....