Monday, April 8, 2019

Last Day in Isabela

Our last day on Isabela Island. John wanted to to the 16km hiking tour on a volcano and I wanted to frolic with penguins. So we decided to each do a different tour.

We had breakfast at the bakery run by an elderly couple because it was the only breakfast place open at 6:50am. John’s tour left at 7:30.

Meanwhile, my tour for Tintoreras left at 8:45am. This time I was doing the tour from a boat instead of a kayak. Once we got on the boat, one of the first things we spotted were six penguins hanging out on a rock. After a boat tour, we got on an island and had a land tour. Looking into a fissure, we could easily see two sharks swimming below. The sharks wouldn’t go past an area where there were a lot of little black damsel fish. The guide explained that the damsel fish nip the sharks. They sometimes also nip people.

Then it was time to snorkel. Once again we were snorkelling with penguins! I was also swimming on my own with a school of eagle rays. Of course there were tons of sea turtles, parrot fish and starfish.

When the tour was over, John still wasn’t back so I went for lunch where the locals go. 

When John got back, he was exhausted so I went on my own to Concha de Perla. This time there were three sea lions on the dock, a large marine iguana, a crab and four people. At one point, the crab ran over and touched one of the sea lions who became loudly enraged. The crab quickly departed and jumped off the dock.

A cruise ship tour group joined us on the dock. The guide pointed out a bite mark scar on one of the sea lions and said that it was from a shark.

At this point I found the dock a bit crowded so I checked out the sea lion beach. Every bench was taken up by sea lions. There were a number of nursing moms with their pups. I sat for 45 minutes watching the bench wars and their small dramas.

John’s volcano tour- our destination was the crater rim of the Serra Negra volcano. This volcano is known as a super volcano because of its size- but the bulk of the volcano is under the sea with the rim at about 1,000 metres above sea level. We took a bus through lush vegetation to the starting point which required an 8 km hike uphill to a view point on the rim. The crater is 11 km x 8 km wide and from the black crater floor there is 10 km of rock until you reach the molten magma.  The main volcano last erupted over 3,000 years ago but there have been smaller eruptions from fissures as recently as 2018. When we reached the area of the most recent eruption it was nothing but black volcanic gravel everywhere. We could also see most of the islands that make up the Galápagos. We then had an 8 km hike back to the bus which fortunately was mostly downhill. 

Returning to Kimberly:

When I met up with John, we went to the lagoon board walk. Many flamingos were feeding in the waters. Their colours were so vibrant.

Of course we grabbed a few beers and snacks and went to our favourite beach spot to watch the sun go down.

One of the things I love about the Galápagos is that so far, every business and restaurant we have seen is family owned. Not a single chain. Lovely.

After supper, we packed up because we leave on the 6:00am ferry tomorrow. 

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