It has been little over a week since I returned from my university field trip to the National Parks of southern Spain, and after a good bath and plenty of catching up on sleep I have finally gotten around to sharing some of what I got up to with you all! Before I went on the trip I thought that I might gather enough material to fill one post full of what I did but now that I am sitting down to write it, it's going to be at least 3... eeep (well I did see an amazing amount of stuff packed into 10 days!)
After a hideous 2am meet up at the bus with little sleep beforehand as I was waaaaay to paranoid that I would somehow manage to sleep through the gazillion alarms I had set followed by a 6.40am flight from Manchester to Malaga then another 3 hour bus journey to our final location, the view in the picture above was very much appreciated. I'm telling you, eating dinner to that sunset is something that I will never forget, ever.
We stayed at a place called Tajo del Aguila which was just the most serine place I think I have ever stayed and I really would reccomend it as a base for those who want to explore the natural surroundings of the area, I mean you really don't have to venture far, this view of the flora was taken walking down to the onsite lake!
And this little fellow (ID: Iberian wall lizard) was also spotted just basking in the sun at the side of the path and was quite ammenable to us all sitting and taking a photograph of it. I always get jealous of Mediterranean areas and other countries that have cute little reptiles running around all over the place (providing they cannot kill me that is!)
Then there was some sunbathing by the lake (and swimming for those brave enough to jump in and embrace the cold water... you guessed it, I was not one of those people!) before heading back up to the hill for dinner and a much needed early night.
The next morning after breakfast we all met on the patio ready to walk up the hill to the bus and whilst we were waiting for the slackers to hurry up- we came across this little guy which is a Rhinocerous beetle, pretty cool huh!
Next up was my first mountain walk of the trip (I kid you not, I walked to the top of this- yes me, the girl who dodged PE in high school) It was a fun and very tiring walk with a smidge of getting lost in the mist but the amount of things that I saw totally makes up for it! I mean we saw an iberian deer!
There were tonnes and tonnes of pretty plants along the walk and I fear that if I stopped to photograph them all then I would still be up climbing the mountain now! This one really stuck out to me though, just because its different and I don't feel like I have seen anything quite like it here in the UK.
I was amazed at how many creepy crawlies we came across whilst turning over rocks, this Harvest Man Spider being a prime example. But fear not, we were responsible biologists and made sure to put any rocks back in the same position that we found them so that we didn't disturb any habitats or disrupt their micro-climates too much!
This is another example of our finds from rock turning, believe it or not this is actually a Lizard, designed to look like a worm... pretty clever no? For those of you who are interested, it is a Slow worm Lizard and did a really cool defensive behaviour of flicking itself back and forwards frantically... the idea being that a predator (such as a bird) would not be able to actually get a hold of it.
After a lunch break and more climbing we reached the top and stopped to admire just how peaceful and deserted it was... sometimes it really is a nice feeling to be able to look down and be like... I walked up here.
All of that occurred in just 48 hours, madness! If you're doing a course which ever offers a Field Trip then I wholeheartedly recommend that you go (even if you live off of beans on toast for a month!) I'm already missing my field trip antics (and selfies!)
I hope you enjoyed Part 1... stay tuned for the next instalment shortly!