Today’s excursion began with a 1 hour bus ride across the island and then a 2.5 hour boat trip out to Bartholomew Island, where we climbed to the top of the volcano and then snorkelled in the bay. The island is entirely volcanic and one of Galapagos’s newest (approximately 1 million years old, versus 5 million for the rest of the archipelago). It is like peering through a tear in the fabric of time, back to the beginning of creation. There are just a few plant species that have managed to gain a foothold on what is otherwise a barren landscape of contorted lava rock (black and rust-coloured) and lava ash. The snorkelling was breathtakingly beautiful and I was lucky enough to see a large school of bright yellow-tailed fish, as well as a sting ray (it is so big! Maybe 1.5 metres across). I also saw small iguanas and exquisite bright red crabs. We had occasional company from frigate birds, sea longs and penguins alongside the boat, and were treated to boobies bomb-diving for fish. All in all, an exciting and relaxing day, worth every bit of the sunburn that I am now suffering with.