From the National Geographic Islander in Galápagos
Apr 6, 2012 - National Geographic Islander
Sombrero Chino Island and Sullivan Bay
The marvels of the Galápagos Islands surprise us as days pass. Today we visited one of the geological marvels of the archipelago, and the best place to begin our exploration was in the Sombrero Chino area. A magical Zodiac ride was the perfect way to enjoy nature’s exquisiteness. As we arrived to the lava rocks, we saw shore birds such as striated herons concentrating on the rocks as they were hunting their prey out of the crevices. Farther into the visit, marine iguanas were the masters of the show as they were swimming from one side of the channel to the other.
Once back on board the National Geographic Islander, we prepared to see what one of the largest marine reserves of the world was about to show us. Deep water snorkeling was outstandingly good. The symphony of colors played by the reef fish in the area was marvelous. From the bottom of the sea garden eels were the perfect contrast for the underwater landscape, and as an addition white tipped reef sharks made us feel out of this world. After this delightful experience, we got ready to see the magnificence of one of the Bainbridge Islands while circumnavigating it.
After an excellent buffet lunch, we pulled anchor and started sailing to our next destination. In the afternoon the exploration got even better as we headed out into the lava fields of Sullivan Bay. The splendor of the site was unique and magical. From the very beginning of the hike the rocks and the way lava was found was completely astonishing. Black like the evening and viscous like melted chocolate, Sullivan Bay made us feel as if we stepped back into time in order to see how all the islands looked when they were all young several hundreds of thousands of years ago. The way the pa-hoe-hoe lava spread made us experience the wonder of nature when an island is built.
At the end of the hike, we enjoyed an awe-inspiring sunset as the last breath of the sun hit the tuff cones in the area turning them into an orange coloration. The charms of Mother Nature speak alone, and today we heard the majestic symphony that the living paradise of the Galápagos Islands played to us.