The Galápagos Islands

Pinnacle Rock. Bartolome. Other spellings: Bartholome, Bartholomew

One of the most famous images of the Galapagos is that of Pinnacle Rock, on the coast of Bartolomé (fka Bartholomew) island. It looks dramatically different from different angles. There are often Galápagos Penguins Spheniscus mendiculus on the rocky shore near Pinnacle Rock, or swimming in the waters around it.

Bartolomé is one of the 'younger' islands in the Galapagos archipelago. We snorkelled off the north beach around Pinnacle Rock, and climbed this tuff cone along a path which is mostly boardwalked to protect the fragile ecosystem underneath.

The hill is only 114m tall, and the path only 600m long, showing me up! Apparently it's also called Heartbreaker Hill, so I don't feel too bad.
We stopped for a long time about halfway up to check out two Fin Whales Balaenoptera physalus (mother and calf?) which were showing not too far offshore.

Bartolomé hill with pioneer plants

View from the top of Bartolomé

The views were worth it!
This is a classic scene from Galapagos, and shows Pinnacle Rock from a completely different angle to that in the top image. This is the view towards the south-west, with Santiago Island in the background.

The picture below shows a small lava tube, of which there are many on Bartolomé. A lava tube is formed by rushing rivers of lava whose outer surface cooled and solidified quicker than the inside which was still molten and flowing.

The inside lava kept flowing until the tube emptied itself. On some of the islands, notably Santa Cruz and Floreana, there are lava tubes so big that visitors can go into and walk along them - but we were so engrossed in all the other things to be seen that we didn't manage to reach them!

Small lava tunnel
Bartolomé: position map

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Bartolomé Hint:

Most of us got bitten by mosquitoes while waiting for our pangas at dusk: the only place on our trip where we were bothered. Take and use repellant!

  Bartolomé  ¦   Española  ¦   Fernandina  ¦   Floreana  ¦   Genovesa  ¦   Isabela  ¦
   North Seymour  ¦   San Cristóbal  ¦   Santa Fé  ¦   Santa Cruz  ¦   Santiago

All text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] v-liz [dot] com
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