Another glorious sunrise.
Clockwise: husband coffee, wife coffee, husband batman oreos. Actual breakfast followed.
Commonly described as resembling a “Chinese coolie” hat, feast your eyes on Sombrero Chino, the destination of our immediately-after-breakfast walk. [When will this island be renamed for PC reasons?]
It began with a panga tour along a section of the lava-liscious coast, searching for wildlife.
Aha! Close view of a Galápagos hawk. Truly special to see it like this.
Wet landing, then part of the walk was on coral bits. This is the first time we’ve seen concentrations of coral like this.
Lava flow, cooled in place on its gravity-fed descent.
Water meets lava.
We spent some time watching the land iguanas emerging from this space between rocks where they had huddled together for warmth through the night (it was still early). They would stop almost immediately, perhaps doing internal iguana-yawns. Here are two adults and two young.
Back aboard we had lunch followed by our check-out briefing. Sad to contemplate the end of our fabulous excursion in the eastern Galápagos, the part with the older islands—older geologically, so more soil development in general, enabling more diverse plant life.
Afternoon dry landing on Cerro Dragón. This beach had teeny shells and sea urchin spines. Those are the fat tubes in Gustavo-the-Guide’s hand. He said his father and his contemporaries used those spine chunks on slate in school, and thus the common name is pencil sea urchin.
The tide was out a bit, exposing a sandy area with many hermit crabs, mostly not seen. They did leave evidence, not only their burrows, but also these sand balls. They take in the sand, filter all the organic matter that’s in it, then spit out the sand in these little balls.
Stilt? Already forgot.
It took Gustavo’s sharp and well-trained eyes to spot this katydid, right by the trail.
Mature male land iguana. “Doing what they do best,” as Gustavo said.
Mature male iguana in “our” trail. Burrow nearby. Linear patterns in the sand are tail drag marks.
View to sea.
Bartender Javier’s preparations are underway for the goodbye meet-up and toasts with the crew. Scarlett the Cruise Director once again went along the crew line-up, detailing their responsibilities and names. [This also helped us with tipping before we disembarked.] Several of us short-timers made a little speech of thanks. I did one in Spanish on behalf of all of us; my Spanish, although still stilted, has come back relatively rapidly after, what?, perhaps twenty-five years of disuse. Good for my brain.
Best tomato soup I’ve ever had. I am not a Campbell’s fan. This has no cream, and includes potatoes. The crew kindly used Google translate to make and print a recipe for several interested guests. The first ingredient was a certain amount of “dad.” Someone among us was clever enough to realize this was a translation of “papa.” While, of course, not an incorrect translation, it was the wrong one here. Papa means papa/dad, the Pope (as in Father), as well as potatoes.