The morning expedition started very early to enjoy the first rays from the rising sun. We landed on Bartolome Island. The hike on this very young (geologically) island was astonishing. The landscape is out of this world, and it seemed like we were exploring the moon or Mars. On this inhospitable island, “Can something survive here?” was a question that probably came to everybody’s minds. Lava tubes coming down from the top of the volcano give us an idea of how the lava flowed during the latest eruptions. Pahoehoe lava fields and AA lava fields are part of the scenery.
We could only find small vegetation patches and micro fauna such as lava lizards. As we were going up, we found ourselves surrounded by parasitic and spatter cones from the times when this island was formed. Once we got to the summit, the beauty of the scenery amazed us. The contrast of the halophyte vegetation against the golden colored beaches and the different shades of blue from the ocean could only be topped by the magnificence of Pinnacle Rock.
During the afternoon, we moved to Chinese Hat Islet and got ready for snorkeling. We arrived at a sheltered bay and jumped in the water. Big schools of different species of fish caught our attention immediately. We swam with sharks and Pacific green sea turtles in the area. The highlight was those small aquatic birds that look like tiny torpedoes as they chase after fish in the water: Galapagos penguins. We had such an amazing day full of new wildlife and vegetation. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring us.