Day 5: We see a Galapagos “moonscape” and colorful land iguanas

This past week I cruised the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador on the M/Y Eric, operated by Ecoventura. As I did not have access to internet, I am going to post my daily blogs this week.

Sept. 24: Bartolome and North Seymour islands

We had a very peaceful night as the boat was anchored all night. We woke to lovely views of the Pinnacle, another famous site in the Galapagos.

Pinnacle Rock
Pinnacle Rock

Today we took an early hike to the summit of Bartoleme Island (369 steps, but mostly all on wooden stairs). This is a very busy island so we left a bit earlier than usual. This gave us a lovely view of this small island that is one of the most photographed in the Galapagos. It is a small volcanic island that looks like a moonscape (in fact, when astronaut Buzz Aldrin visited here he said it looked more like the moon than any other place he had visited.)

It is very barren. The only wildlife we see are the ever-present sea lions and birds overhead. From the top, you can see both golden and white beaches. The main land feature is a rock spire called “The Pinnacle.”

A colorful land iguana
A colorful land iguana

After walking back down from the summit, we board the pangas and head over to the white beach where most of us go snorkeling around the Pinnacle. I see many large fish, including a barracude, as well as many starfish. The snorkeling is quite good here in the Galapagos we have have had many snorkeling opportunities. You can bring your own equipment, however the ship will issue you snorkle equipment and wetsuits to use for the week and these worked fine for me. (The water is cold enough that you appreciate a wetsuit.)

After lunch we went to Baltra Island for refueling. This area on Baltra is a military base so we cannot get off the ship here.

This afternoon we took a hike on North Seymour Island and saw many more great animals. The most interesting here are the land iquanas, which are even larger than the marine iguanas and more colorful. Many are somewhat yellow or orange. We also saw some of the small black marine iquanas.

A male frigate bird
A male frigate bird

Then we saw lots of frigate birds, who nest here, and finally we saw some males with their brilliant red neck pouches inflated. These do this to attract females for mating. It is another of the Galapagos’ famous sights.

We saw even more blue-footed boobies and I know we got some good pictures.

We are all looking forward to tomorrow when we see the giant tortoises!

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