I’ve wanted to visit a volcano all my life. I got pretty close in Sicily where I could see the plume of fire on Etna but I completely missed Mount St. Helens and didn’t see it in person for many years after the big eruption that blew its side off. So here we are on Isabela, home of five volcanos and we could actually go with a guide to see two of them on a 16 kilometer hike. I wasn’t going to miss this.
The day we booked started out dreary with a heavy drizzle that turned into steady rain as we marched at a blistering pace up to Sierra Negro, the second largest volcanic crater in the world. The last eruption was in 2005 and took everyone by surprise so we weren’t allowed to descend into the crater, and with the mist and drizzle it was difficult to appreciate the size.
As beautiful as that was, we continued another couple of kilometers to Volcan Chico where we hiked down into the caldera and entered a moonscape unlike anywhere we’ve ever been. The colors and shapes of the lava are spectacular. Every new vista took our breath away. I just don’t have words to describe it, and my photos don’t do it justice.
This was by far the highlight of our Galapagos adventure and it didn’t even involve wildlife! That’s been one of the surprising things about these islands. We came for the animals and birds and found the geology even more fascinating.
By the time we got home my feet were tender, Jack’s knee was aching and we both felt every day of our ages. Ten miles is definitely beyond our normal range. We collapsed in the cockpit and barely moved for the rest of the evening but oh, was it worth it!