We set off this morning to see the Humboldt penguins on the Pacific Coast. Wandering generally westward we rode through a lot of fresh road construction with just a few drops of rain, but it began to feel like another one of those days.
Arriving on the beach we were relieved to see the sky brighten. The absence of tourists was also a plus. We just rode across a creek and down the and to the first penguin tour operator. Jim asked him when he was going out and he said, "Diez minutos". How can you beat this for timing. Of course, had we not shown up he would have told the next guy the same thing.
What can we say. The penguins were everywhere. Loved it. Had the boat to ourselves, in fact we had the ocean to ourselves. Saw other birds and a few sea otters--a bonus. The trip lasted about a half hour for about $12 each.
There are about 12000 breeding pairs of Humboldt penguins, with 8000 in Chile. Their population is declining because of over fishing and guano mining. At least these are the reasons given on Wikepedia. We only saw one baby.