Early in the morning, we anchored in Sullivan's Bay at the easternmost tip of James Island. Once again, the scenery was very different. This area has been subject to violent eruptions.
We stopped to hike on Bartolome Island, a volcanic islet in the Galapagos, just off the east coast of Santiago Island. This island has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the archipelago.
The island consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange, green and glistening black volcanic formations. There is very little vegetation on this island but the gray mat plant, evolved to survive long droughts and intense heat. The tiny white flower it produces are the primary food source for the local lava lizards.
We walked to the top of Bartholomew before breakfast.
Volcanic features are preserved for a relatively long time in the Galapagos since the climate is fairly stable. The only true damage to these rocks is a result of the constant exposure to intensive sunlight and occasional heavy rainstorms. Sunlight and heavy rains do cause erosion, but not as impacting as big storms and heavy seas.
After climbing up several hundred wooden steps, we had a great view of Pinnacle Rock, which is the distinctive characteristic of this island and the most representative landmark of the Galapagos.
You can just make out the lighthouse at the top.
One of the groups making its way down the wooden steps.
Eventually we checked out Volcano beach before heading back to the ship.
A close up view of Pinnacle Rock.