Two Go Back to Spain

Discussion in 'Spain' started by DBK, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    The migrations of birds into Europe continues. After yesterday's Swift's I watched a dozen or so Black Kites fly in this morning. :)

    We have a prime bird watching spot. This is us on the right. :)

    LRM_EXPORT_20180515_195254.jpg

    The lumps in the background are the Rif mountains of Morroco. :)

    The van to the left of us had just arrived. A very new UK registered Vantage Neo with an interesting layout - and, if the owners don't mind me pointing out, some expensive extras, including the £4K garden shed door on the side. :) Nice folk though. :)

    We even have a beach side bar.

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    Which would be even better if it was open tonight! It was open yesterday but has shut tonight for some reason.

    Charlie is enjoying the waves. :)



    Tomorrow we are going to drive into Tarifa. We may even have lunch at a restaurant! :)
     
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  2. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    Our vigil near the Pillars of Hercules continues. Where we are there is no beach at high tide but at the moment low tide is mid-morning so this is a convenient time for a walk with Charlie.

    The rocks on the beach are interesting.

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    The horizontal strata has been turned on their end leaving jagged teeth but at one point the rocks have been deformed significantly.

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    It looks from this angle like the jaws of some sea monster. :) But from another angle what's going here is clearer.

    LRM_EXPORT_20180516_185027.jpg

    The strata has been folded over - either a syncline or an anticline depending on whether the older rocks are on the outside or the inside of the bend respectively. :)

    The geology of this area is interesting. Until I looked into it I hadn't realised the Straits of Gibraltar are the result of two meteor impacts.

    The first about 5.9 million years ago closed the entrance.

    Gib88k.jpg

    While it was blocked the Mediterranean dried up leaving a layer salt.

    Then some 600,000 years later another impact off north west Spain opened the Straits up again, allowing the Mediterranean to flood in.

    GibB800Large (1).jpg

    Fortunately, things are geologically slightly calmer these days. :)

    Dodging meteors we went shopping this morning to Lidls on the outskirts of Tarifa. The plan was to go into Tarifa afterwards for lunch but it was blowing a gale and the thought of being sand-blasted walking the streets of Tarifa didn't appeal so we have postponed lunch out until the weather improves.

    During the afternoon some more Black Kites came across from Africa and I managed to photograph one - mainly to be sure my identification was correct. :) They are a pretty nondescript looking bird but the faint V in the tail is the main clue.

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    I also watched these two boats for a while.

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    They were moored up off shore for a couple of hours and the occupants didn't do anything obvious like fishing or diving.

    Then I read an article in today's Times about the drug smuggling around here from Africa.

    The guys in the boats were almost certainly police or customs. :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  3. Riverbankannie

    Riverbankannie Funster

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    Your posts are always so interesting. Never too old to learn something new :)
     
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  4. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    After a week here near Tarifa we are moving on tomorrow a little further up the coast. We still have another six weeks left so we are moving slowly. :)

    From our perch above the sea I have been watching a lot of shipping making its way to and from the Mediterranean. There are several apps which show where ships are. I use one called Marine Traffic which shows screens like these.

    Screenshot_20180516-161812.png

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    The ship symbols are colour coded, red for example are oil tankers. If you click on one, as I've done in the second screen it shows the name of the vessel. If you click again a window opens showing more detail. In this case a ferry going to Tangier. Many harmless hours can be spent with a pair of binoculars and this app.

    When not ship watching there has still been some opportunities for bird watching.

    These were a surprise.

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    And a little later one on its own.

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    Griffon Vultures but over the sea? I suspect the first group were in a thermal which drifted away from the land. The second bird seemed to have flown from Africa across the Straits. A few young Griffons do fly over there before returning to settle down like sensible birds when they get a bit older. There are a very few vultures from Africa which come over as vagrants. The Rüppells Vulture looks like a slightly smaller dark Griffon but even with my most optimistic glasses on I can't say any of my photos reveal a Rüppells Vulture. :)

    The number of seagulls we can see is enormous. Having been corrected by my brother for thinking I had seen Herring Gulls I now know the birds here are Yellow Legged Gulls - and I've even seen their yellow legs to confirm this!

    Sometime flocks of two hundred birds or more gather over the sea and start to feed. Through binoculars I could occasionally see the surface of the water erupting with tiny fish. The flocks feed for a few brief moments then disperse until one of them spots more fish at which point the flock reforms and they all pile in.

    The interesting question is why are the little fish jumping out of the water? I suspect they are being hunted by bigger fish from below. :)

    But probably not as big a fish as what washed up today.

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    Some gulls were perching on the carcass. Later it washed up on some rocks.

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    Forensic icthyologists will be able to make a better guess but I'm thinking some sort of tuna. It must have weighed 50kg - 100kg when it was alive. Intriguingly even the gulls shunned it once it was beached. It must have been very ripe. I stayed upwind. :)
     
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  5. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Great thread John keep the info coming.
     
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  6. Jenowen

    Jenowen Funster

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    That’ll teach me to be smug! We’re in Dax in the Landes region of France, en route to Spain. Dog wearing brand new ceresta collar - and I found a tick on her this morning!! I’ll definitely be super vigilant now.
     
  7. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    Thanks for the reminder as I meant to give an update on the tick situation. :)

    I think our error was working on giving the Advantix every month, but the dose is once every 28 days. So I think we were a few days late giving the repeat dose and even then it took a good 48 to 72 hours to begin to work. Once it did we found a few ticks on Charlie's bedding or which came away with the brush. Yesterday we even found a dessicated one under his chin.

    So once it begins to work the ticks don't want to bite him and fall off and crawl about or if they do bite, like the one under his chin, they die.

    The lesson I think is to stick rigidly to the 28 day interval. :)
     
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  8. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    We have shuffled a bit further up the coast to Camping Pinar San José near Barbate and Cape Trafalgar, CC 57777 and ACSI.

    Screenshot_20180523-202928.png

    It is a good kilometre walk to the beach but worth it when you get there.

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    The lighthouse is Cape Trafalgar and it looks quite close - don't be fooled it must have been nearly another two kilometres away along the beach! :)

    But we plodded stoically on, being overtaken by a party of Brits on horseback just before we reached the lighthouse.

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    The view from below the lighthouse looking back the way we had walked.

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    And looking inland - with horses. Eat your heart out Peter O'Toole. :)

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    Nature Notes

    We'll get the plants out of the way way quickly. :)

    The Large Cuckoo Pint Arum italicum very like the Lords and Ladies we get in the UK except for the colour. Poisenous seeds too but not normally deadly. The roots can be boiled and eaten but something from Lidl or out of a tin would be generally be better. :)

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    And the Spanish Oyster Plant Scolymus hispanicus a weird fusion of thistle and dandelion.

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    Bugs Section

    This is a great place for Coleoptera and I have seen several interesting beetles. The star in terms of size were these, which are numerous.

    LRM_EXPORT_20180523_163813.jpg

    A relative of the Stag beetle I think. Lucanus barbarossa (TBC) and a male about 4cm long. I suspect it can give a painful nip! :)

    We only saw one of these, a European Rhinoceros Beetle Oryctes nasicornis and if it looks a bit dirty I had just rescued it from an outdoor sink. I suspect it can't do short or vertical take-offs. :)

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    Spider-phobes stopping reading here. :)

    Mrs DBK turned out her sandals today, which had been sitting outside the 'van and the biggest spider I've ever seen in Europe fell out of them! It was grey/brown colour but with banding on the legs. Too quick for a photoshoot it fled rapidly. In size because of the brief glance it would be easy to exaggerate but I would guess not less than 100mm and probably bigger.

    My guess is it was one of the Huntsman spiders. The image below isn't mine but it looked like this. :)

    huntsman-spider-2.jpg

    Sleep well and check your shoes in the morning!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018 at 10:02 PM
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  9. Jenowen

    Jenowen Funster

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    You’re in a fantastic place. Check out the pines just over the fence and see if you can find the chameleon. It’s quite a big beasty!
    There are lovely walks through the pines to Barbate and further afield as well and don’t miss Saturday’s hippy market.
     
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  10. Coastal Cruiser.

    Coastal Cruiser. Funster

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    A good guard dog would have seen that spider off:LOL:
     
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  11. DBK

    DBK Funster

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    Showers were forecast for Thursday so we decided to use this as an excuse to move on. We went via Barbate to do some shopping at the Aldi and saw the signs to the walks @Jenowen mentioned. They looked intriguing although I don't think there is anywhere to stay nearby. The aire in Barbate gets muted reviews.

    We drove for less than an hour north to Camping Las Dunas in Puerto de Santa Maria opposite Cadiz. It's listed in ACSI and CC 48789. We stayed here on our first visit in the MH to Spain. It's a big and busy site but is well positioned though in an ideal world it would slightly closer to the centre of the town. :)

    On Friday we took the ferry across to Cadiz and following almost literally the steps we took on our first visit as we toured the older parts of the city by following the green line painted on the road!

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    Which took us past the cathedral.

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    And cool courtyards.

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    We ate a light lunch of tuna which was delicious - it had been marinated I think and it melted in the mouth - and I forgot to take any photos or even note the name of the place! But it was slightly under €20 for the two of us including two glasses of wine each.

    First thing this morning we took Charlie on a geocaching hunt and placed a new travel bug (Travelling Terrier 4) in a cache near the campsite.
    Afterwards we walked into Puerto de Santa Maria and did a sherry bodega tour and tasting - again at exactly the same place as we went last time. Adventurous aren't we! :) But it wasn't boring and the bloke who took us round was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I even remembered to take my mini-tripod with me this time. The shot below was taken with it resting on a barrel.

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    Afterwards we really forced ourselves to sample 6 different sherries. :)

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    We then grabbed the last available outdoor table at the La Venencia restaurant and shared a salad.

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    Followed by garlic prawns - only five left by the time I remembered to take a photo. They were very yummy. :)

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    Followed by a tuna steak we also shared. It was slightly overdone but ok. And I forgot completely to photograph it!

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    €35 for us both including two glasses of wine each.

    Afterwards we visited the beer festival being held in front of the castle. Storks nest on the castle but they seemed unphased by the noise. We had a very nice beer brewed by a British family based in Malaga - Baker's Beer.

    LRM_EXPORT_20180526_180408.jpg

    It's a tough life being a tourist. :)
     
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