Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Galapagos Expedition | Day 7

Santiago, Bartolomé, Sullivan Bay

Bartolome Island is a volcanic islet in the Galapagos Islands group. It is a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island. It is one of the younger islands in the Galapagos archipelago. This island, and Sullivan Bay on Santiago island, are named after naturalist and life-long friend of Charles Darwin, Sir Bartholomew James Sullivan, who was a Lieutenant aboard HMS Beagle.

The island consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic formations.

An early morning hike on Santiago Island allowed us the pleasure of meeting fur seals, a sea turtle, and a few thousand marine iguanas.

Interesting place to catch a few z’s isn’t it?

fur seal

sea turtle on Santiago Island, Galapagos

Buenos días

marine iguanas

Let’s go snorkeling!

This deep water snorkeling, in relatively cold water, was all new to me. The water here is around 65 degrees in August (also known as the dry season in the Galapagos), so a wet suit is essential if you plan on being in the water for any length of time.


C snorkeling with a sea turtle

C snorkeling with a sea turtle

C snorkeling with a sea turtle

Yep, that’s me, I’m swimming with a sea turtle! This was most definitely a huge highlight of the trip for me. This sweetie pie swam with me for about five minutes. He’d pop his head out of the water every once in a while, and when he did, I followed suit. I even held his fin for a bit as we swam along... I am TOTALLY 100% in love!


During the months of June through November, the Humboldt Current makes it way up to the Galapagos from southern South America. Cooler weather and colder water come with this current. Some days the water was too murky to see much, but this day the water was crystal clear.

We also saw sea lions, starfish and lots of fish. And penguins up close and personal on the shore near Pinnacle Rock. Our guide thought the water was “demasiado fría para pingüinos” (too cold for penguins).


After our afternoon snorkeling fun, we quickly showered off the salt water, jumped into the panga, and headed over to Bartolomé Island where we hiked up 365 steps to the summit for an incredible view. Because we hadn’t had enough exercise for the day.

If you look carefully, you can see where the panga driver let us off and we began the ascent.

They call this 365 steps, but I lost count after about 50 steps, and then it was unclear whether they meant steps or stairs. Either way, it was a long trek uphill.

climbing the 365 steps

last of the 365 steps

The Galapagos, Pinnacle rock


Susan said...

Oh. My. Is this the most wonderful trip ever, or what? You must have been on an adrenaline high the whole time, yet feeling a sense of peace and all is right with the world. So awesome. And I mean that in the truest sense of the word.

Sharon said...

Cindy, I am enthralled by your account of this most incredible trip!

I've been too busy for a couple weeks to do blog reading, but this morning I sat with a cup of coffee and read straight through from the airport anxieties through Day Seven of your trip. All I can say is "Wow!"

Your photos are National Geographic quality! The seals, tortoises, crabs, and the baby frigate were so sensational that I feel a part of the adventure.

You sense of humor makes for delightful reading, and I'm sure it helped you to recover from the scary parts of the trip--like your DH getting nabbed in the airport and that tsunami wave sneaking up.

Thanks so much for writing such a beautiful account of your trip and sharing it here!

Cindy said...

Susan, I pretty much was on an adrenaline high the entire time. Otherwise I could never have survived the rigorous schedule. I'm ready to go back and do it all again.

Cindy said...

Hi Sharon, I'm so glad you're enjoying the trip! Thank you for following along and for your sweet comment!