“ Address: Bartolome Island / Galapagos / Ecuador „
Bartolomé Island, Galapagos
For anyone who has seen the film 'Master and Commander' this island featured in the film. The view from the top of the island is apparently in the film but it isn't one I have seen so will have to take everyone's word for it.
Bartolomé is a small rather barren uninhabited islet in Sullivan Bay to the east of Santiago Island . It is but 1.2 km2 so really very small. It is another quite bleak island with lots of very obvious volcanic evidence still to be clearly seen. In fact you walk over the volcano and up its side to reach the viewpoint from which all photos must be taken.
Bartolomé was named after Lt. David Bartholomew of the British Navy and the only change in name has been to give it the Spanish version of Bartholomew. Today it is the most visited of the islands because of the geology and the Famous Pinnacle Rock.
Pinnacle Rock is a volcanic cone which was formed when magma was expelled from an underwater volcano. The sea then cooled this hot lava, which then exploded The lava then came together and created the large rock now sticking up from the sea on the edge the island.The rock is made up of lots of thin layers of basalt.
Arrival onto this island is a dry landing. The little zodiac boats come to the stone steps and then you can hop off and walk up to the walkway. We had a landing party welcome from some young sea lions playing around near the steps. One was so sweet he was playing with a stone and throwing it around on the step with his nose.
Slightly further up a pelican sat watching our arrival too with a very superior look on his face. A number of little lava lizards scurried around, you could tell the males from the females by their colour around their heads.
This was one island where you could wear less sturdy shoes as you only walk on a wooden walkway all the way to the viewpoint. I am not sure how long the walk is but it is uphill all the way to the view point and in the heat it you do feel the climb. Sometimes the walkway is just sloped and at other parts there are many steps to climb.
When we visited it was hot, there is no shade and so you need to remember to wear a good sunscreen and a hat and carry a couple of bottles of water. It isn't a hard walk and you can go as quickly or slowly as you fee comfortable with. On the way up you can spot the lave lizards and also see a number of volcanic formations, not to mention some pretty spectacular views as you climb upwards.
When you get to near the top after climbing the 600 m trail there is a large view point looking over the length of the island and you also get a very fine view of Pinnacle Rock. Climbing slightly higher, not on a walkway you reach the summit at 114 metres high and the view is not a lot better but you have to make that final effort.
The best thing for me was while we were at the lower view point a Galapagos hawk landed on the wooden rail just beside us. It stayed around for about ten minutes and posed beautifully with the view behind him. He then decided we needed different view of him and flew over to a rock and sat once again for quite a few minutes.
Once we had taken enough photos of both the views and the hawk we began our downward trail. I actually find walking uphill easier than down as my knees really feel the down ward walk however we were once again able to take our time and stop to enjoy views along the way whenever we felt the need.
Once back at the steps we waited for the zodiacs to collect us and were once again entertained by the young sea lions.
Once back in the zodiacs they took us around the corner past Pinnacle Rock to see if we could see the little Galapagos penguins. We were lucky and saw a bout twenty sitting on the rocks and swimming around our boats. They are such cute little things, like little waiters on the rocks in their smart suits but once in the water they were like little streamlined rockets zipping around the boats.
This was another special island and in the afternoon we went snorkeling around in this same area near Pinnacle Rock and some of the little penguins joined us in the water. There is something quite magical about swimming with these little creatures, heaven knows what they thought about us all white, large ad wearing strange masks!
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