American in Spain

Swimming With Dolphins - Honeymoon Day 12

November 12, 2007

We had a relaxed cloudy morning by the pool. We got up at 9:45, way later than any other morning of our honeymoon. Breakfast was crap, as usual. Marga was feeling a little ill, so lying down for a bit was good for her. We took a little walk down a street we haven’t been to yet and found some more garbage-filled poverty. For lunch, we found a secret lid covering some slices of pizza. As in school cafeterias growing up, the pizza is by far the best thing that the chefs can manage to make for a large number of people. It was way better than anything else we’ve eaten here, the previous evening excluded. At 1:15, we were waiting for the van to take us to swim with the dolphins. We were taken to a closed down amusement park. There was a huge parking lot with two cars in it. We parked and walked by spookily silent roller coasters and animal cages. We were sat down in a waiting area where there were already two obese Americans, one of them cheekily wearing a Miami Dolphins jersey. He was delighted when I noticed and made a comment about his shirt choice for the day. We were made to sign some forms that stated that we understood that there might be some bumps and maybe a few bites, that we couldn’t wear any jewelry, no suntan lotion, and no cameras. They took us in to watch a short video about dolphins that contained the precious line, “Some people consider dolphins to be a more advanced and perfect version of ourselves.” What a great sentence to have burned digitally onto a DVD that is read with lasers and projected onto a painted wall in an artificially air conditioned structure while we sit comfortably in chairs and the dolphins are swimming around with their own feces in a concrete human-built pool hoping for some fish to be thrown to them.

After another short wait outside, a guy came out and said that we could pay 10,000 B per couple to have our photo taken with Susie, the sea lion, kisses included. I decided to wait until I saw the beast before agreeing to pay to have it kiss me. But Susie was so pretty that I quickly chose to shell out the two euros for the photo op. Marga and I sat down on some chairs, I gave my camera to one of the staff members, and Susie jumped up on my legs and planted a big whiskery kiss on me. She was pretty heavy. Then she leaned over and kissed Marga, another kiss for me, and she moved over to the corner, allowing us to get up and the next couple to sit down. Her every move was puppeteered by her trainer moving his hands over our heads. Mac store billboard in Venezuela

The billboard for the Mac Store in Venezuela. I saw it every time we left the hotel, and finally timed a photo to capture it.

Apprehension before Threesome

I bet everyone is nervous before their first threesome.

Susie kisses Marga

Susie plants one on my wife.

Sea lion love

Marga's not that "into" it.


Mmmm! Fishy!

Evil Frog Garbage Can

This garbage can in the waiting area creeped me out.

Bye, Susie!

Susie waddles away.

Eventually we were lead to the dolphin pool, given life jackets and were told to get into the pool. They explained where and how to touch the dolphins for each of the “experiences” we would be having. There were about 20 of us in the pool and only two dolphins, Belén and Macarena. I commented to Marga that it would have been really cool if Macarena was called Margarita.

First both dolphins swam by us and let us pet them. The skin was smooth and about how I expected it to be. The underside of their bellies was a softer texture. And the tails were hard. After a half-dozen passes, it was time for “Singing with the dolphins”. In pairs, we went with some trainers out into the open. We patted the water with our hands to call the dolphins, they dolphins popped out of the water in front of us, and we waved our hands in the air like a music conductor. The dolphins started “singing”, and we were encouraged to make similar noises ourselves. It lasted about 10 seconds and the head trainer whistled, and the dolphins went to him to get a treat. Then we had to wait while everyone else did it. ren009

Meeting the dolphins.


They weren't at all frightened by my snow white shoulders.

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My dolphin was the only one that really sang.


Marga's only lip synced. Do dolphins have lips? More on that later...

Next was having the dolphins pull us in the water. We could choose to grab the dorsal fin, or have the dolphin swim upside down and grab his lateral fins and lie on the dolphin’s stomach as she pulled us. Marga and I chose the latter lateral method. It was pretty awesome.


Saddle up!

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This is pretty cool.


Oh no! Marga's winning!


But Erik pulls away at the finish line.



The final “experience” was “Kissing the dolphin”. We patted the water as before, the dolphin popped up and kissed us, holding the pose for the camera. Their snouts are pretty sturdy. The one I kissed had a little bit of fish breath. Their species has clearly evolved past the breath mint.


Nope. No lips.

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Susie had more passion.


We applauded, the dolphins did some jumps, and we were instructed to leave the pool. We were in the water for a total of 30 minutes, and each spent about a total of one full minute in contact with the dolphins. Still, it was pretty cool, and something I’ve always kind of wanted to do. I can understand how the dolphins can help autistic kids a lot. It’s nearly impossible to not smile when in contact with them. Very cool.



The photos were 12,000 Bolivars each, or 75k for a CD. I mentioned to one of the other Spaniards that I had a computer in my room that could burn CDs, so we decided to buy the CD between us, buy a blank CD at the mall on the way back, and I made him a copy. It worked out well, I think.

Backstabbing Penguin Piñata

On the way out, I saw these two piñatas getting read for a children's birthday party. It looks like the penguin had already stabbed his companion (Pooh?) in the back.

Let's go play in the shoe!

Abandoned amusement parks are full of IWUS material.

Celebrity Birds

These two birds were at the entrance. As I approached with my camera, they turned their backs on me. No love for the Paparazzi.

We went to the once-only restaurant for the second time that night. My steak was fantastic and all the rest was mediocre. I cleaned my plate, though, so I must have been pretty hungry. Some drinks and heated political discussion in the bar with some friends and off to bed.

Up next: Even more lobster!