Our last day on the island (or so we thought.. read the next post...) we 'broke with the routine' and went for a walk along the beach as a family for the morning. We knew that it would contain all the things the boys would love - the beach, investigating rockpools, seeing the kiteboarders and feeding the Barbary Ground Squirrels that have tamed all of the tourists.
The walk was great, and we splashed in the waves, investigated lots of rockpools (it was just after high tide, so these were great! There were lots of crabs and small creatures for the kids to see, and they had a wonderful time exploring.
Along the cliffs behind the beach live colonies of Barbary Ground Squirrels. These are small squirrels that were imported many years ago, and so liked the place that there are now about 300,000 living on the island. They are incredibly brave, and have 'trained' the tourists to feed them (by being 'cute'). We stopped at a couple of colonies and fed them pieces of apple, which they loved, but they didn't like banana (well, its true they are not monkeys...).
They would take pieces right out of the hand and the boys loved feeding them. They were 'turbocharged' and scampered about, often racing up nearly verticle cliffs and rocks, and chasing each other about. At first, it was a novelty seeing them. By the end of the week, we had seen them everywhere and were quite used to them scampering about.
When we reached the kiteboarding centre, the boys were fascinated to watch a guy blow up the skeleton of his 'kite' using a bicycle pump. As they were investigating his rig, he invited them to try out his board - which he duly 'wiggled' to give them the impression of surfing the waves. He then told the boys that in 2 years, they would be old enough to start learning...the boys think this is a great idea!
They loved to watch the kite surfers race across the bay, then leap into the air and sail along behind their kites for ages.
We finally made it back to the hotel for an afternoon by the pool, then a final play on the beach and swim in the sea. A great family day.