Early in the morning we woke up in the central part of the archipelago. We are now on a very small, very famous island. Bartolomé is home to the world-famous Pinnacle Rock, photos of which have been published in many books and filmed for many documentaries worldwide. We call it “our open book of geology,” a misfit island with no Palo Santo forest, yet after 2.5 million years we believed Bartolomé should be full of endemic biota. It’s wonderful seeing Mother Nature keep secrets, and as a result we are able to admire these unique geological features firsthand. We began our journey to reach 315 feet in altitude by walking about 372 wooden steps.
Back onboard, we had our breakfast and went out for our water activities. Some of us went snorkeling, others boarded our glass bottom boat and some just took a towel to lay on the sand for more relaxation. As we repositioned our ship, we passed next to a chain of volcanoes. Inside one, we could see some flamingos at the inner caldera. Meanwhile, our naturalist Gilda Gonzalez presented about Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands.
Next, we went snorkeling at Sombrero Chino. Here we had an impressive underwater landscape where black lava met the white sand. Great visibility and many more species like sharks, rays, penguins, and of course fish and fishes (the plural of different species). Later we enjoyed a Zodiac ride along the shorelines of James Island, searching for Galapagos penguins before heading back for a barbeque dinner.
After dinner, we had an opportunity to enjoy the celestial sphere. Thousands of stars, and the Milky Way, were exposed majestically above us all. We learned about constellations and celestial navigation as we gazed at the sky. Later at night, it was time to reminisce about the many experiences of such a wonderful day. As we look back at these islands for the last time, understanding tomorrow will be our last full day, this place now seems to be timeless to us. It is now deep within our hearts and our experience has been unforgettable.