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Bartolome Island, Galapagos

Stairway on BartolomeThe panoramic view from the summit of Bartolome is one of the most photographed landscapes on the islands.(See middle picture above).We had a 6am wake-up call for the walk to the top as it gets quite warm later in the day. Park Rangers have built wooden steps up to the summit to prevent erosion - 372 stairs to be exact. The volcanic moonscape of rust colored spatter cones contrasts with the large pale tuff cones and sooty lava flows. Few plant species can withstand the drought conditions that occur here. Lava CactusBut the landscape did have some interesting plants including the lava cactus and the tiquilia shrub which are food for the lava lizards.





Tiquilia Shrub Male Lava Lizard



Trail over Sand Dunes

After breakfast we walked over sand dunes to a nice sandy beach where ghost crabs were scurrying about and disappearing into their holes.Ghost Crab DroppingsThey create interesting patterns in the sand from spitting out sand balls while searching for tiny organisms.


Ghost Crab in Hole



While snorkeling around the tip of the island we saw a white tip shark swimming back and forth under us, a few penquins, a chocolate chip star and of course more playful sea lions.

Santiago Island, Galapagos


Fur SealsAnother snorkeling trip in the afternoon off Puerto Egas on the western end of Santiago Island proved quite an adventure. Barb was swimming back to the beach when a booby bird was attacked by a frigatebird, causing the booby to drop their newly caught fish. It dropped into the water right in front of her and immediately four pelicans swooped in to grab it. Barb ducked under the water to keep from being hit. Pile of Marine IguanasOur later walk on the beach was one of the best of the trip. We finally found some fur seals sleeping under a ledge in the sea grotto. There were hundreds of marine iguanas warming themselves on the lava rocks.American OystercatcherAn oyster catcher tried to open a sea urchin. For our last night in the Galapagos, we were treated to a beautiful sunset.

Sunset on Santiago Island




Flaming Baked AlaskaDinner was filet mignon and a flaming Baked Alaska for dessert. Thought they were going to set the boat on fire the flames were so large, but guess they knew what they were doing!


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