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Howard Banwell | profile | all galleries >> Galapagos >> Santiago and Bartolome tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Santiago and Bartolome

Hankering for a longer walk on one of the islands, a group of us landed just after sunrise on a recent lava flow at Puerto Egas on the western shore of Isla Santiago (James Island). It was a cloudy, misty, drizzly morning but we hiked inland for about an hour to a salt mine crater, pushed up millennia ago from the ocean floor. It was used commercially from the 1940’s to 1970 to supply salt to the mainland, and part of the old equipment and worker accommodations are scattered on the tufa rock and amongst the Palo Santo trees. We climbed down to the bottom of the crater which is below sea level.
Later we cruised close along the shore of Santiago and past Albany Island and Buccaneer Cove, where Darwin spent the longest part of his visit on the Beagle. Some amazing rock formations are to be seen on this part of the island.
On Isla Bartolomé, just to the east of Santiago, we climbed up the trail to the 114m summit. This viewpoint offers the classic Galápagos view across the twin-beached isthmus of Bartolomé, the channel separating it from Santiago, the volcanic craters, tufa cones and ash cones of the main island – and, in the distance, many of the other islands of the archipelago. This is an amazing vista, even under low grey clouds. It must be quite spectacular on a sunny afternoon.
Old salt mine in volcanic crater
Old salt mine in volcanic crater
Culled feral goat
Culled feral goat
Ash beach
Ash beach
Volcanic debris
Volcanic debris
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé
View from Bartolomé