Isabela is the largest of all the Galapagos islands,
and lies to the west in the archipelago. We landed at Tagus Cove,
and took a hike from there.
On Isabela, there are 5 volcanoes, and we hiked to a place
past Darwin Lake to a place that overlooked a huge barren lava field. When Darwin
visited he thought the lake was going to be freshwater and then was not pleased
to find it was saltier than the ocean! Each of the volcanoes has a resident
population of giant tortoises, but goats had caused extensive destruction of
the habitat. Biologists have just completed a major
goat eradication project on the island.
We also took a panga ride around the island,
with its incredible scenery -- Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants nest on
the cliffs. The penguin population has plummeted in the past few years.
View from the lookout over the lava field.
View of the lava field.
A Galapagos penguin.
Two penguins on the cliff.
A flightless cormorant.
Male and female Galapagos finches - not sure the species but probably medium ground finches.