Sierra Negra – Isabela, Galapagos
One of the prominent things about the Galapagos Islands is high dense of volcanoes. The excursion for this first half of today was up to Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela. Typically, the excursion extends to the neighboring volcano, Chico, but since Sierra Negra was on yellow alert for potential volcanic eruption (last one in 2005), the hike is cut short.
Our naturalistic guide picked us up at the hotel for an hour drive to the start of our hike. Saying it was a foggy out was an understatement- it was difficult to see even a few feet in front of us. It was very chilly and there was a constant mist (rain jackets handy here!). Not optimistic about our odds of seeing the massive caldera, we started the 5km hike. The scenery here was quite different than the landscape we had become familiar with.
We learned about how the different plant life thrives and survives, which had become a particular problem with the infestation of guava trees and blackberry bushes.
After hiking up on a gradual incline, we made it to the caldera. Holding our breath as we approached the clearing, we stared into a massive cloud obstructing the view. We waited about twenty minutes for a friendly wind to pickup and clear the view just for us. No such luck. Can’t win them all!
Top photo- what we should have seen; Bottom photo- what we saw
We descended the mountain (quite a muddy mess) and settled in at the base for lunch before driving us back into town.
We have been very lucky on this trip so it was difficult to be disappointed for very long with the obstructed view. There was still half a day ahead of us!