Jan 16, 2018 - National Geographic Islander
Floreana is the most historical island in Galapagos because the colonization started here, and also it is the place well known for the occurrence of mysterious and tragedies of several events among its early inhabitants, just to mention one is that of a woman from Germany that came to live here with three lovers, which came with her from Europe, one day she and one lover disappeared without trace, others follow the same path of tragedy. Ecuador annexed and claimed the Islands in 1832, three years before Darwin arrived to Galapagos.
Before breakfast we headed into the beach for a short hike through a greenish-brown sandy beach with some olivine crystal consider semi-precious stone and a brackish water lagoon with Greater Flamingoes, noble inhabitants of this paradise usually in the company of pintail ducks and others migratory birds.
The trail ended at a white coralline sandy beach where green sea turtles nest through the year and where diamond rays concentrate by the dozens along the shore under the breaking waves, sally light -foot crabs splashing the dark lava with color.
Back on board for breakfast we started to navigate shortly to a small Island called Champion where we disembark for a zodiac ride for the search of interesting wildlife such us sea lion, boobies, swallow tailed gulls, brown noddies, red billed tropic birds and others like an elusive bird called Chatham mockingbird which became extinct on the main island due to predation by introduced animals. Finally, we saw four of them, and I exclaimed “mission accomplished!” and we returned back to our ship.
After few minutes, having time just to suit up to get ready for another exciting activity: SNORKELING at one of the best destinations to do so as large schools of fish are found, to mention just a few, parrot fishes, king angel fishes, invertebrates, echinoderms and others, but what we enjoyed the best was swimming with sea lions which entertained us almost all throughout the session. Great morning.
The other destination we visited in the afternoon was Post Office Bay; here a wine barrel supposedly erected by 1790’s by a whaler and has been used to facilitate communication with home as they were away for some years. We still follow the tradition so what we do is writing postcards, take them there, put in the barrel, and another fellow traveler going the same way will hand deliver it.
Additional activities were doing a Zodiac ride around mall Island where lots of sea lions and birds and turtles hang out, we found a Galapagos penguin standing on a rock to the surprise of everyone. Also some of our intrepid guests went to walk in lava tunnel that at the end has water from the ocean, to be in this geological formation is quiet a great experience; inside is dark and quiet, peaceful and astonishing. Kayak and paddle boarding were offered to our guests. The exploration on these marine vehicles is just fantastic. When you are standing up on a paddle board, one has the opportunity of observing turtles, rays, fish and to enjoy of the amazing wild life and landscapes.
The sky started to turn orange and reddish, indicator that sunset is coming soon. Indeed! It happened, in few minutes’ dusk came; we enjoyed from the sky deck just tasting some wine and looking at the first stars of the night.b
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