May 31, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II
This morning we arrived at the easternmost point of the Galapagos, Punta Pitt on San Cristobal Island. After a wet landing on a green olivine beach, we started our hike over an old riverbed that took us gradually to a ravine, which has been improved by the national park service with some cement steps and a wooden handrail.
The landscape at Punta Pitt is breathtaking. The tuff cones are huge and have been eroded in a completely different way from other cones—they look like spikes on the back of an old dragon. As we walked up, we found various endemic lava lizards and a few finches, but nonetheless the highlight of the walk was to see several blue-footed booby pairs with chicks of all different sizes. Some were just a few weeks old, and some were bigger than their parents, but all of them looked very healthy. It is a relief to see that these beautiful birds are coming back to nest on this site.
A little further along the trail, we saw our first red-footed boobies nesting in trees. One was losing his baby feathers, and every time he exercised his wings, down feathers flew all over the trail.
At the end of the trail, the area was covered with a beautiful succulent red ground plant, known as sesuvium. These along with the green nolana added a great contrast against the black basaltic lava.
In the afternoon, National Geographic Endeavour II repositioned to the western side of San Cristobal to visit the most beautiful beach on the island, Cerro Brujo. Here we walked along a beautiful white sand while a few sea lions slept peacefully on one end of the beach.
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