Today we had another magical day in the Galapagos Islands. Walking on young lava flows and swimming between volcanoes is not something you can do every day. After breakfast, we went on a Zodiac ride along the coast of Chinese Hat to look for one of the most popular animals of the Galapagos: the Galapagos penguin! Only about 30 centimeters tall, these penguins are the third smallest in the world. They are the only species that live on the equator. They even swim to the Northern Hemisphere. After our Zodiac ride, we returned to the ship to get ready for aquatic activities. Snorkeling in this area is amazing. In addition to colorful schools of fish, it is possible to find whitetip reef sharks, Galapagos sea lions, and, of course, Galapagos penguins. The penguins fish during this time of the day, so they usually swim by very fast. Today, they came close and even pecked someone’s snorkel mask! Relaxing on the beach was also an option. Volcanoes, cacti, turquoise waters, and sea lions made for a paradisiac landscape.
During the afternoon, we enjoyed several activities. Photo instructor and naturalist Walter Perez gave a talk on photography, and we listened to a presentation on the famous naturalist Charles Darwin. Kids took Zodiac driving lessons. Our main activity for the afternoon was a walk on a lava flow that is only 130 years old. The geological formations in the area are stunning. We observed pahoehoe basaltic rocks that have solidified in rippled or ropy forms. “A’a lavas” could be translated to “ouch ouch” lavas; they have a very rough appearance, and it is impossible to walk on them barefoot unless you are native to the islands. After seeing hornitos, fissures, cinder cones, and tuff cones, we could all agree that geology rocks!