Saturday 3 February 2024

Galapagos journals Day 6

Dear diary

I haven't got the strength to write anything and it's late so this is going to be extra brief.

Today was an exhausting bike day. We hired bikes and went up to the highlands of Santa Cruz to two collapsed craters which strangely are not volcanoes. In fact, they've been formed when lava cascaded across the plain and, when it cooled, it created some unstable areas which over time collapsed and formed huge craters. They were quite impressive with rich vegetation growing up everywhere. 

We then cycled down to a private reserve park owned and bought by a national park guide. In the reserve, we got the opportunity to observe many giant Galapagos tortoises and learn about the formation of the islands in the most thorough and detailed (and quite excitable) way of any guide yet. 

He told us so much about the tortoises, but we also got to walk through a big section of a primary transitional forest and learn a lot about the endemic species and plants and what they do about the invasive species. But the most amazing thing was that we visited the lava tunnels. The lava tunnels were formed were magma was flowing down the plain, and then the outside of the lava flow solidified leaving the lava inside to flow and continue along with no way of cooling down until it plummeted into the ocean. Inside the (very dark and slippery) tunnels, there are stalagmites and stalactites. It was really spectacular!

The last tortoise we met at the end of the tour was a very old one of more than 150 years old and 300 kgs. You could see the first layer of the shell had been worn away and the bone underneath was visible. He did seem quite content though and carried on with his bedtime routine. 

With all these exciting things, we were really late and had to race down the hill to Puerto Ayora to the bike shop. As we zoomed past the back roads, heavy rain started pouring down and our clothes stuck to our skin as we pedalled faster. It was quite an adventure!

At the end of the day, Dan and I left Ioanna and Ismene at home to get dry and went for a quick night-time swim at the dock of the bay. Before we got in the water, a sea lion swam past and a Galapagos blue heron flew over our heads wishing us a good night. 

Tomorrow is my birthday and....I CAN'T WAIT! 

No comments:

Post a Comment