Posted by: tim ellis | October 6, 2011

Spains Big Three – Tuesday September 6th 2011


The plan for today is very similar to yesterday. After breakfast we drive up a different bit of mountain, and what Rob describes as “exciting” hair-pin bends to the start of another lake trail. This one does not seem to be quite so high, and is a lot less shady and windy, which makes for a very hot walk! We stop to look at birds – especially the Golden Eagle – butterflies and lizards, so only get part of the way to the lake before turning round and returning.
Queen of Spain Fritillary
We drive back through the village at the start of the trail to a mill-pond for a roadside picnic in what little shade we can find. Gerald spots a Red Admiral butterfly as it flits past, settling further down the road. Both Trevor and I have shorter lenses on our cameras as we have been shooting the scenery, but Gerald encourages us – “It will probably let you get closer.” – However it deciders to fly as soon as I take the first step, so sorry, no photos.

Our bear watch tonight will be from different point – the car park at Llamardal, which is about half way between La Peral and where the bears actually were. It is a lot lower down, so Gerald decides we should climb the hill opposite, which is a bit of a scramble, with one tricky point involving a barbed wire fence, and a number of ant hills on the summit. Never the less we manage to set up and start scanning the hillside, which is quite a lot closer, sadly to little avail. Although we can see the Cats and Dog at the cattle farm, the only wild life we see are a few chamois and some birds (mostly Griffon Vulture and Chough). We return down the hill a bit earlier, to ensure we can see our footing, then continue to look from the car park until the light goes.

Toasting the EaglesThat evening Jerry announces he had promised Gerald a bottle of wine if he found us a Golden Eagle, and as he found two, he has bought two bottles of champagne. It is pointed out to him that we actually saw four – three adults and a juvenile, but he says he’s only counting the first two! We have previously gone over the checklist in the restaurant, but it is too noisy tonight, so we retreat to the hotel and find a lounge we didn’t know existed…


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