September 29, 2007
For my last full day in the Galapagos, I took one more trip up to the highlands of Santa Cruz, this time to the "Tunnels of Love." The tunnels were formed naturally by the lava that flowed through the island when it was formed. I was surprised how big they were, and they added one more impressive site to my Galapagos experience.
In the afternoon I decided to go snorkeling one last time. Santa Cruz has lots of beaches and bays that you can walk to from town for snorkeling and swimming. This time my choice was a place called "Las Grietas." The large crack in the landscape was formed when the freshwater from the highlands combined with the saltwater from the bay to form a warm, perfectly clear pool of brackish water. It was a beautiful place, but I didn't see many animals in the water, despite the great visibility.
So that's how my stay at the Galapagos ended. Tonight I went out one last time with Brian and Kim to reminisce about the islands. They had some fresh stories about their day trip to Bartolome Island, one of the northern islands I didn't get a chance to see. Their big news was that they saw a penguin, the only major Galapagos animal I never saw.
I may have missed seeing penguins on the equator, but I felt like a penguin from all the cold weather. In fact, the owner of my hostel said it's the coldest year he's experienced in forth-nine years of living on the islands. So besides the extreme amount of poaching and the introduced predators, the animals of the Galapagos have a new threat that could wipe them out of existence: climate change.
The photo album for this entry is here.