Morning rather fast paced hike around Urbina Bay, Galapagos, Ecuador, on our National Geographic Cruise in fairly warm conditions. We woke early and gathered our wet and dry shoes, climbed aboard a zodiac raft and landed on shore. The hike led over lava rocks to the site where a Galapagos Hawk sat on a post and allowed twenty+ people to photograph it from every side from quite close (10’ or less). It was a juvenile.
The area of Urbina Bay was uplifted in 1954. There aren’t many bones left by the uplift, although the tour staff have laid out the skeleton of a pelican, skeleton of a house cat, skeletons of Sea Turtles washed up on the island that likely died of dehydration recently. I spotted a new type of crab called a velvet crab. Lots of lava on shore bear testimony this is an active volcano area. The main thrill of the uplift though is the huge remnants of sea coral that was cored by scientists and recorded as being 600+ years old. These outcrops are dead but grasses have begun to grow on them.
The loop trail turns inland for awhile and we managed to come upon the local variant of land iguana, the red bat, dead giant tortoises and several live ones.
The Galapagos are late receiving rainfall since the rainy season was supposed to start three weeks ago, but inland, the greenery has expanded from a dead zone in 1954 to lush greenery with full-sized trees and shrubs, of which many were now in bloom. I recognized the tropical maple in blossom, but found many others I need to identify (I’ll add later).
As we left back to the shore we saw manta rays (no pictures).
Lunch for me was Teriyaki Corvina, couscous and vegetables, cold noodles and grated carrots, bread and a sample of walnut tort.
After lunch, Bob complained of continual muscle pains in his legs, so we decided to take the afternoon off and catch up on my paperwork—school and blogs. I taught him several leg stretches, fed him Motrin, and let him sleep. We missed out on snorkeling in Tagus Bay and the kayak session which we signed up for.
Birds: Medium Ground Finch, Galapagos Hawk, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Striated Heron (Sheri only)