In radical departure from my usual… shall we say, verbose… style, our trip to the Galapagos is best served by pictures.
Day # 9,998: While wildlife generally took center stage in the Galapagos, this was a day focused on the islands themselves. Our first stop was at the long, white sand expanse of Bachas Beach on the island of Santa Cruz.
The overcast skies somehow made the beach even more vibrant and beautiful.
After getting our fill of the tidepools and inland ponds of Santa Cruz, we headed out to San Bartolome Island for an afternoon hike.
San Bartolome (like the rest of the Galapagos Islands) was created from volcanic material, which gave it an other-worldly, lunar quality. The landscape was beautiful in the same way that deserts are: gorgeous in its starkness and in the colors of the earth.
Aside from a few cacti and tufts of silver greenery, the landscape is dazzlingly bare. Our naturalist used the word ‘desolate,’ which sounded forsaken in a way that the earth most certainly was not.
The peak is only about 374 feet, but yielded stunning 360-views… including this famous isthmus shot.
Once snapshots were had and canteens were sipped, it was back down the boardwalk for a completely different view of the island.
With the number of visitors hiking San Bartolome every day, it’s wonderfully amazing how untouched the island- like the rest of the Galapagos- remains. Tread lightly.
When we reached the bottom, it was on with our wetsuits and into the ocean. Pinnacle Rock is known for the Galapagos penguins that frequent the area and will happily swim alongside snorkelers. While we saw the penguins sunning themselves on nearby lava rock, we found the sea lions to be much more playful.
After joining us for a swim, these lovely sea lions decided it was nap time. We followed for a few pictures.
Further down the beach, we ran into another marine friend.
So much beauty. So little time.