Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 04 Nov 2014

Urbina Bay & Tagus Cove, 11/4/2014, National Geographic Endeavour

  • Aboard the National Geographic Endeavour
  • Galápagos

This morning we explored Urbina Bay on Isabela Island. As the Zodiacs pulled onto the beach, the early morning sun was casting a beautiful light onto the landscape, perfect for our photography-focused groups. Donning our hiking shoes and leaving the sand behind, we took to a trail that led us inland into dense vegetation, including many poison apple trees and yellow cotton flower bushes. We quickly spotted our first giant tortoise of the expedition, calmly resting on the side of the path. Throughout the morning, we saw two more tortoises, all of which were adult males with dome shaped shells. We also came across yellow-colored land iguanas during our walk. Underfoot we were able to find evidence of the sea uprising that occurred in the 1950s that brought what was once ocean floor to the surface we were standing on.

We returned to the ship for an afternoon of talks and activities punctuated by a delicious Ecuadorian buffet for lunch. Just before sunset, many chose to hike to the hill overlooking Darwin’s volcano.

After disembarking from the Zodiacs, we examined the graffiti along the walls of Tagus Cove and saw the hand of man on the islands. We then began a hike that quickly gained elevation, taking us through a forest of bare palo santo trees to a few viewpoints that overlooked Darwin’s Lake and the ship in the bay.

At the summit, we were rewarded with a splendid view of Darwin’s Volcano in golden light. We turned back towards the ship, racing the setting sun and watching the trees on the highest hills glow red in the fading light.

Just as the day began bathed in beautiful sunlight, so the day came to a close. It was a perfect ending to another abundant day in the Galapagos Islands.

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