I was quite chuffed that we had seen a few iguanas on our travels but today blew those sightings out the water! We went on a catamaran excursion to Laguano Island, so named because of it's reptile inhabitants.
It took two hours under motor to get there. It was a shame we couldn't put the sails but A) there was no wind and B) there were 30 Germans, 2 French, and two Scots cluttering up the deck! We had a little time for some snorkelling before docking at what I could only describe as the perfect image of a deserted island with a tiny beach, crystal clear water and palm trees. The only sign of human life (other than the 30 Germans, 2 French and 2 Scots) was the large table set up for our lunch. We were really excited to immediately see a large iguana sunning himself on the beach, and even more pleased when we saw two more join him. We had expected to see a few given the name of the island, but little did we know what was waiting for us a little further up the beach....
We suddenly saw a group of 8 iguanas, a couple of really huge ones. Obviously this is more than we have ever seen in one place before so the cameras starting clicking more than ever. They were so tame too, we were walking right up to them and they didn't even bat an eyelid. We were happily snapping away with the camera and hadn't even noticed the 10 or so more that had arrived and were beginning to surround us. We were about to have lunch, and the iguanas obviously knew what was coming, and just like a scene from a zombie movie they were appearing from all corners of the island, out of the bushes and moving slowly towards the table, poised and ready for the lobster. By the time we had sat down to lunch there were at least 30 iguanas of various sizes all around us, and three tree rodents (A huge mouse/rat/guinea pig thing)...we were surrounded and it was hard to know if they were eyeing up the food or your toes!
They were absolutely everywhere and just as we were tucking into our paella you would feel one of them brush past your legs under the table. Of course this caused total chaos as people jumped up squealing and grabbing their legs as they felt something hard and reptile like or big and fluffy at their feet. It was totally mad, nobody could get through a mouthful without having to move to let one by.
Then some of the guides started throwing food for them and in the blink of an eye all of the iguanas that were at the table were suddenly in the middle of a feeding frenzy, piling on top of each other to get to the food. By this point it was impossible to count how many there were, and a 4th tree rodent had now been thrown into the equation.
We had planned on going for a walk around the island but we couldn't take our eyes off of the scene before us as they were fed all the leftovers. They were certainly very well fed, most people in the UK could afford to eat the amount of lobsters that these critters devouring.
300 photos and an hour of video footage later, we had a quick swim before being ushered back on the boat. Just when we are thinking we have had all the crazy experiences that we could have on our trip, another one is thrown our way! :o)