Another group of stops on our trip around the Galapagos Islands, which I’ve written about here and here, highlight the fantastic variety of landscapes and wildlife that are concentrated in this tiny island chain.
One morning we paddled into the protected cove of an island, where the clear water let us view schools of fish, stingrays, playful sea lions, and the plants and rock formations underwater. We passed mangroves growing in cool salt water, and watched the pelicans watch us. It was very calm, peaceful, and beautiful.
That excursion was at odds with a landing on one of the youngest island in the Islands, Bartolomé, where the fearsome might of volcanoes was on display. Where Nature destroys, she also creates. The last eruptions on this island left it covered with lava, in swirls and dips, cracks and planes, bubbles and spikes. On this otherworldly landscape we wandered, mostly staring at the ground and marveling at the variety of formations left by the inferno that was once here. Occasionally, we would see tiny spots of green or gold, where seeds, wind-born or dropped by passing birds, sprouted and took hold, and start the centuries-long process of turning this rock into soil. After this hike, there was time for snorkeling at the beach.
I waded on the surf a bit, fascinated to find evidence of the first residents to the area – the tiny Galapagos Lava Iguana – and watch the color play of the vermillion crabs against the blue sea and the black rock.
In the distance, Pinnacle Rock. I have it on good authority that this landmark features prominently in the 2003 movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which I’ve owned for six years and haven’t watched yet.
- Lava, Lizards and Seal Lions on Galapagos Islands (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Ecuador and Galapagos Islands (mjlaybourne.wordpress.com)
- Google captures the Galapagos in Street View (nbcnews.com)
- My First Walk at Galapagos (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above – Galapagos Islands 05-06-2013 (politonomicsandtravel.wordpress.com)