Best laid plans

Today we woke up in the peaceful Faia Brava reserve campsite. No road noise, no light pollution, just the birds and the breeze! And the stars in the night were spectacular – there was no moon so we could see the whole milky way.

We rode down the 3km dirt track into the village of Algodres to meet Pedro, who was giving us and Johanna a lift into town, to save us the 3 hour walk. We all squeezed into his great little Renault 4 GTI and puttered along to the office.

The office has a little room for the interns and Dave, Johanna and I joined Niek and Tiago in there for the day. Niek is working on finding the best way of reforesting the reserve and Tiago is developing a monitoring strategy for the regrowth of Cork Oak and Holm Oak. They both told us about their projects and Dave helped Tiago with some mapping work whilst I did some research for Neik. Neik has some tree seedlings growing in the nursery at the campsite, so we’ve been given the task of keeping them watered for the next few days! It’s nice to be able to lend a hand whilst we’re here.

Intern box

Intern box with Neik, Tiago and Johanna

Dave and I also tried to sort out the next stage of our travels to Switzerland. We need to get trains there to arrive in time but there are lots of trains that don’t allow bikes and it’s proving difficult!

In the evening, Pedro came back to the office and we thought it was time to go home, but he was staying out for dinner, so we all went to Neik and Tiago’s house near the office to cook and eat tortilla and salad and have nice chats about nature and culture. Around 11pm we went back to meet Pedro but they were still on their bird course, just about to go out to listen to night birds! He lent the three of us his van to drive back to Algodres, but it only had two seats and after going about 500 yards, we got stopped by the police for taking a passenger in the back! They were really nice about it and we didn’t have to pay the €120 fine, but that was the end of the journey, so we had to skulk back to Neik and Tiago’s house and ask to stay over! Thankfully they had a room spare with three beds in it, so we collapsed into bed around 1am. Perhaps we’ll cycle the 15km to the office on Monday.

– Anna

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