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San Cristobal Island

Nov 02, 2018 - National Geographic Endeavour II


Today is our last day in paradise, and of adventures that once seemed unreal. We all bonded as one even though we are from different generations and even centuries, today we are one, the Galapagos brings magic to our souls and minds. Traveling and reaching Fernandina to San Cristobal Islands, the youngest and one of the oldest in the archipelago, on an expedition, a journey of discovery through time.

 

San Cristobal Island is one of the eldest in the Galapagos. Today we land on a green olivine beach. The volcanic scenery that we observe during our intense hike is spectacular; the peaks of tuff high in the sky make this site very different from what we have already observed.

 

Punta Pitt also has impressive scenery from up above – here we can see the inversion layer keeping us cool and pleasantly comfortable for this walk. All our senses become aware as we listen to our surroundings as we search for red-footed boobies.

Soon after we have some beach time and play with fun sea lions and observe two males fighting for their territory with females.

 

Later we reposition to Kicker Rock, an impressive tuff formation standing massively out of the shoreline. We circumnavigate as the sun is setting, remembering this is the place where we just snorkeled with Galápagos sharks, turtles, fish and friends.

 

We are now together at the bow, celebrating life, as a frigate bird was flying very near us as if to say goodbye. Today is our last full day in the islands.

 

We made it to the Galapagos and it was not easy. There is a deep appreciation for the few children who actually make it to the islands; statistics say that out the 7 billion humans in this world only a few make it to the Galapagos in contrast with Hawaii (12 million), Yellowstone Park (3 million), Machu Picchu (1 million visitors) and finally, Galapagos Islands (204,000 per year), a fraction compared to other places. That is why I say that we were honored to be part of their unforgettable experience and hope one day they have the will and power to make a positive change in this wonderful world of ours.

 

Our expedition is now over; life goes on, but we are now sure this place has changed many lives; a place which can never be fully described. We all came with different backgrounds, sharing this magic which can only exist in our hearts and minds forever.

Farewell, amigos.

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About the Author

Celso Montalvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Gal├ípagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

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