Disembarked at 8:15 AM, riding in the panga through narrow channels to a series of linked tidal lava pools to an old lava flow, where we disembarked. Desiree said the lava was 800 years old, but even taking into account the extreme aridity and heat, it's hard to believe. It looks half that, with little or no oxidation on the surface at all.
We walked across black lava flows, seeing an occasional Lava Cactus but little more, along a "C"-shaped trail instead of the usual loop. The second half of the walk, we began to encounter brackish lagoons, some plainly connected by tunnels to the ocean, even though open water was more than a hundred yards away. The lagoons were small oases in the sterile lava field, with surprising amounts of vegetation for saline water. The contrast between the stark, barren lava and the rich, green lagoons couldn't be greater.
It was very surprising to see reef fish, White-tipped Reef Sharks and even Green Sea Turtles in the lagoons. Apparently, the lagoons are linked to the ocean by a series of underwater lava tunnels, large enough and straight enough that animals as large as Green Sea Turtles and sharks can easily swim in. The shallower lagoons had Greater Flamingos and shorebirds, and even a Pied-billed Grebe.
But even with the lagoons, the heat was pretty bad on all of that black rock, and eventually we began to wilt. We made our way to the half-shade of a cove. Mary Zalar swam but the rest of us sat and sweated waiting for the panga, which gradually threaded its way to us.
Punto Moreno lava fields, Nancy with Lava Cactus
Punto Moreno, Isabela Island
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