The last full day sees us having a wet landing on Chinese Hat, an island in the Galapagos which looks like, well…you know. We walked a short trail where we learned about the history of the volcanic activity that helped shape the unique islands and contributed to the diversity of animals that inhabit the islands. We saw a penguin playfully calling out to find some friends and then actively chasing trying to catch some elusive fish. We saw the obligatory sea lions, crabs, and iguanas that always seem to be part of the landscape of the islands. Soon we were back on board where Kathy again showered while the rest of the group got ready to do their last snorkel of the trip. Kathy decided yesterday: no more, she was waterlogged and content with what she had seen and done. Today the group saw fish, sharks, and rays but nothing new. Kathy, on the other hand, relaxed and packed in order to get ready for the end of our adventures in the Galapagos.
After our lunch and siesta we set off for a power hike on the unpopulated side of Santa Cruz Island. We were lucky enough to see some bright mustard colored iguanas basking in the sun. The hike started with a dry landing where we walked over a landscape reminiscent of the mars landings with bright red sand dotted with jutting laving rocks. What started out as dry and rocky led to a white sand beach where some of the group decided to treat themselves with a dip in the cold ocean after the long, hot hike. Some of us decided to go back to the boat and enjoy the comfort of the rocking ocean. The boat seemed to rock a bit more than usual. Apparently there was a volcanic eruption off of the Tongan Islands. This created a small tsunami here in the Galapagos Islands. Fortunately, it was barely noticeable where we were except for a bit more energy in the waves.
While waiting for dinner and the farewell drink, we saw several large manta rays jumping out of the water near the boat. This last night we expect the going away drink along with the video of the 2nd part of the trip. The video, though, will not be the same without G, Irene, Prity, Pam, Jay, and Maria! We hear they have all made it home safely, for which we are grateful.