We’re onto our third day of our very own virtual Galapagos cruise tour… this is the day in which it all comes together: that is, the general realization that you’re in a marvelous, fascinating place, probably the most improbable, unique and surprising in the world, and that you really want to get the best out of every living moment.
This time, the beach is in store. “Finally!” you exclaim, especially if you booked your cruise because some travel agency sold the place to you with keywords like tropical or islands, which immediately brought about images of palm trees and piña coladas…
But this beach is not just any beach, because Galapagos cruises are always special, right? So here, at this particular site, we are not talking about white sand and turquoise water (nor piña coladas). This time our cruise itinerary takes us to precisely the complete opposite: the sand here, covered in multi-colored coral, is like powdered coal.
It’s still very early, so beach time comes later. We first head inside, down a dusty trail with low vegetation, from which you see a lonely volcano in the distance. Suddenly, someone hollers, “Dinosaur!” He laughs (it’s the tour guide’s Galapagan sense of humor), but there is some truth to the remark. The creature itself isn’t gigantic (although it is quite big), but its movements are so slow, which added to the size, makes the exclamation pertinent. What is it? The emblem of Galapagos travel: the Giant Tortoise. A pair is feeding off of some high bushes. We also see, on the ground, an array of white pentagons: a tortoise must have died here, and the degraded shells have become a mere skeleton.
Further along the road we find another dinosaur: land iguanas. They stand motionless for hours, with their hind legs in such lazy positions, they seem broken… and we take many more pictures than we need to. We’ve probably never been closer to wild animals, real wild animals, in our entire lives.
Finally, to top of a wonderful morning, the black beach, with its black water, where we find sea turtles, marine iguanas, barracudas, manta rays, sharks and playful sea lions… yes, the piña colada is well deserved back aboard our virtual Galapagos cruise vessel.