Isabela Island, Day 11

Blue-footed booby perches precariously on volcanic rock, Isabella Island, Galapagos Islands, EcuadorWe set foot on Isabela island this morning with the intention of exploring the geology of the Galapagos Islands rather than its wildlife. Basically, islands to the east of the archipelago (such as Isabela island) are younger and at an earlier stage of ecological and geologic development, while those to the west are older and more established.  The beach at Point Moreño on Isabela Island is a combination of gorgeous white sand and black volcanic rock.  Nearby, blue-footed boobies watch us as we amble past.

There are two different types of lava: ah-ah (sharp, irregular shards) and the ropy, stringy pahoihoi.  Red and white mangroves and lava cactus are some of the first signs of plant life colonizing the barren landscape.  We scramble over this rugged lava field until we reach some salt-water lagoons, which are fed from the ocean via underground lava tunnels.  There’s a sprinkling of animal life here, including flamingos and a striated heron.  We end the hike at what sounds like the set from a pirate movie, shark lagoon, where we do spot a couple of white tip reef sharks and a huge green pacific sea turtle.

In the afternoon we visit a mangrove lagoon in Elizabeth Bay, where Juan promises to show us sea lions basking in mangrove trees – which he does.  We also see the famous Galapagos penguins, the only penguins found at the equator.  And for the first time tonight we see the sun setting over the Galapagos archipelago.  Until this point the weather has been dull and overcast, typical for the dry season.  Oddly enough, the wet season tends to have more blue skies and sunshine.

Blog post by Roderick Phillips, author of Weary Heart – a gut-wrenching tale of love and test tubes.





  1. margaret moore says

    wonderful photographs and what a lovely experience

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