I think I’ve mentioned before that each island can be very different, even from a nearby neighbor. Remember that the previous islands had the cactus trees? Well, Chinese Hat island had cacti that definitely resembled saguaro - where they were able to gain a foothold amongst the lava flows.
We went snorkeling off this island and were mesmerized by the amount of fish life.
We then motored by an island that our guide warned us to watch carefully as we went by.
It’s a volcanic caldera that collapsed and is now filled with a salt water lake,
…that hosts a flock of
Yep, you guessed it - flamingos.
As we continued motoring on, there was a shout off the bow of the boat. Manta rays had been spotted jumping. These things have “wing” spans of up to 20 feet and can weigh over 2 tons! They launch themselves out of the water, to land back down with a resounding smack, knocking off parasites. They usually did a full flip, and sometimes even a double! I finally got lucky and caught one in the act -
So, as we enjoyed the manta ballet, we arrived at Bartolome island, where we had some more fun adventures.
First we went snorkeling and found this starfish field scattered for many feet over the black sand bottom:
…as well as this gorgeous Pacific Boxfish (this has not been enhanced - he really is that shade of purple).
Late in the afternoon, we climbed up more than 350 steps to visit the lighthouse on top of the hill.
The view from the top -
There were several spatter cones that we walked by -
On our way back to the boat in the Zodiac, they brought us close by the Pinnacle, that I’m now finding out is the most photographed feature in the Galapagos(!).
You can really appreciate the effects of erosion, as we got closer -
The backside of the Pinnacle hid a breeding colony of Galapagos penguins, that were basking in the last light of day:
It’s just so incongruous that there are penguins at the Equator!
So, goodbye again, from yet another Galapagos island.