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Loberia is the Spanish name for Sea lion kindergarten. It is organised at the end of the bay that plays as Floreana’s welcome center and only access point. The sea lion puppies are guarded by two males on both sides of a tiny isthmus and while apparently the mammas are out fishing. The little ones are playful and curious if big enough because there some individuals that look as if they have left the womb of their mother a week ago. All this nature is more than accessible due to the lack of fear of the animals and the seclusion and control over the location on the part of the humans. The bulls are tanning themselves and keeping an eye on the visitors and from time to time seem to establish who the boss is and what the rules are. So it is no surprise that every now and then they issue their peculiar calls and even move in your direction to note that you are to keep distance. This said it seems the whole action is dictated more by boredom than by threat. At the same time one has to be prepared for quick retreat because despite their awkward movements on land, the bulls are quite fast and their teeth are comparable to the dog ones. The location is also a magnet for the turtles where they come by the scores. Unlike the sea lions, the turtles are shy and less tolerable of intruders of their space. It is a rare chance to be able to see one on land and when in the water they keep their distance by immediately by immersing themselves when approached. Still, many of them can be seen from the shore poking their noses out of the water to breath in air.
Updated Feb 4, 2011
Transportation to Floreana is awkward in the sense that the cooperative lanchas (fast boats) go there and back to Puerto Ayora but not to any other island so one-way trips are not possible. At the same time a perfect triangle between Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabella makes for an interesting and straight-forward visit of three islands with minimum time spent navigating the seas. For this purpose the charter boats of Red Mangrove hotel chain become very handy. In the process they will try to book you on tours or accommodation but this is a matter of choice. The price is 30USD – a standard for inter-island travel on any vessel.
Updated Feb 28, 2011