Friday, 23 December 2011

Santa Cruz

We didn't get in the car today!! Instead we walked along the coast seeing sealions, seals, sea otters, egrets, many surfers and another whale. We were heading to the Natural Bridges State Park to go rock pooling (or tide pooling as they call it here) and then see the monarch butterflies in the grove. Rock pools in England seem to be more easily accessible, whereas here they were on a rock plateau. The pools were really deep and we had to be particularly careful not to slip in them, we can't cross the Atlantic on the cargo ship with any broken legs. There were many large green anemones, purple sea urchins, purple starfish, orange starfish, some little pink coral-like things, mussels coating the rocks, a range of brightly coloured slimes and sludges and Jenny managed to find some crabs. Sharing the rocks with us was an egret, some gulls, oyster catchers and other excitable rock poolers.

The monarch butterflies were all flitting around in the sunshine, so the number of them resting on the eucalyptus trees wasn't that great, but there were still plenty of them. Notices told the onlookers to talk in hushed voices and creep along the boardwalks, one man however seemed to think that playing his ukulele to the monarchs was permissible. On the walk back we passed lemon trees in gardens and a small twig with tangerines on it. Opposite the hostel a grand old house has been fumigated, we are presuming against termites. The house now resembles a gigantic yellow and blue striped circus tent.

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