quinta-feira, 28 de abril de 2011

Day 13 - South Plateau, last ascent

After the weather prediction advertised a rainy day in Madeira, we were left waiting for the big luck. Today I would have the help of Pedro and Isamberto, and the Lisbon team headed to Ilhéu Chão. We waited for middle of the afternoon to climb the Vereda, to set up the 48 pitfall traps and finish those 4 hours of night sampling. Right as I was preparing the combat meal to be used as dinner, *bollocks!* rain falling down… >:| I was cursing for quite a while, standing at the porch and looking at the clouds thinking that this cobra protocol couldn’t be finished for about an hour until, suddenly, a clearing in the sky approaches the top south of the Deserta Grande. I immediately suggested the climb at about 17:30 and there we went, at the fastest speed possible by me (always the slowest element when comparing to Pedro and Isamberto, it’s impossible to compete with these guys, they come from another planet inhabited by a special species of mountaineering people). After we reached the destination, it was “dig! dig! dig!” Isamberto did the holes, I set up the cup and Pedro prepped the “roofs” of the traps. We were done of this task at about 20:30 and we had 1 hour to have some food and rest till nightfall, and to hope that the rain wouldn’t spoil the 4 remaining hours left of fieldwork. But again, St. Peter didn’t turn on the sprinkler and we managed to do those last hours with no rain, and that was the last sampling to be done in the Deserta Grande! And one last nocturnal descent of the Vereda followed, with all the time of the world, as the night revealed a sky full of stars and Pedro stopped for a long exposure photo in Eira, capturing the “lava bombs” by night.

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