Vamos a la isla! We are now on the southwest side of Isabela Island.
Link to Galapagos Islands Map
This morning we take a dinghy to shore for a hike around a volcano (Volcan Sierra Negra).
This photo is from the lower elevation before we begin the hike up to the edge of the caldera. Looks like it might rain! Doesn't worry us. It's so hot and humid, I'm sure it will feel great.
On the hike up, we did loose a couple passengers who found it a bit hard. Not for us! The biggest problem Kevin and I had was fighting for first position on the skinny trail!
We enjoyed being the first at the top and taking photos of each other before the remaining passengers arrived. I think the competition was more fierce and rapid than we realized because it was quite a while before the others showed up! (By the way, I won.. but I have to admit that he stopped for a photo which gave me the final pass. Ha! ;-)))
This volcano is quite different than any other I've been to! The caldera is very shallow and very wide. When our guide arrived he explained more to us.
It's an active volcano and the caldera is nearly 10 km in diameter. The last eruption was in 2005. Our guide was telling us how beautiful it was coming here with the tour groups to watch the lava flow and glow. They would even do a night hike. That would be so beautiful to see. But, for us it was cool and black, yet very unique. Very much worth the hike, love it!
The hike down involved lots of chatting and no competition to be the first back to the dinghy.
Back to the boat and before I go to lunch this time in the fancy dining room, I really need a shower after that long sweaty volcanic hike. It's one of those places where you get a new towel every day and I still haven't got used to that. So I jumped in the shower and when I got out, I saw Kevin's wet towel on the floor and realized mine is still on the bed!
Our host makes a different towel design every day like the big cruise ships do. Yesterday was a lotus flower, today is a swan? Boobie? Not sure. But I'm asking Kevin through the bathroom door to hand me my towel, he doesn't. Kevin are you there? Yep. Can I have my towel? Nope. I started to get angry, but when I peeked out the door, he made me laugh so much I had to take a picture. Look at that face!! ;-) I get your sneaky plan buster brown, but little did he know that I wrapped myself in his wet towel before I opened the door.
By the way, that bird near my head is a flightless cormorant. It is the only cormorant species found in Galapagos and it is the only cormorant species in the world that can not fly. This happened during the evolution process due to these birds having no natural predators; eliminating the need to fly. Amazing! Sadly, since humans have introduced cats, dogs and pigs, the numbers have dropped significantly. Now this rare flightless bird is on the endangered list. Ugh!
Kevin amazes me how he gets right in there and explores every bit of everything. I'd be afraid if I stuck my head near that hole in the rocks, one of those big eels lurking behind in the dark will come out and bite me in the face.
I'm loving my little waterproof shockproof Panasonic camera. This is the first time for it to go this deep! I quickly and surprisingly found what I was looking for. In our guides book on the boat, I saw the name of this local starfish is called "Chocolate Chip". My favorite cookies! And it really does look like one!
Kevin actually had a problem here. See those black urchins? He came up to me with a "Fu............." What happened? Did a shark bite you? Did a big green eel with teeth get your nose? No, he said he backed into some urchins. He's been poked with heaps of little black needles. Yep, that would be an Owwww.. that starts with an F!
Back to the boat and after we had a look at numerous little purple tattoos from the sea urchin needles (on his lower back and ass to be precise), it's sunset BEER TIME!!
Mr. Service with a Smile strikes again!
Sunsets here get better and better.
(So much for getting Galapagos done in 4 blog posts, we're barely at the half way mark..)
Hasta manana ;-)