The Owl and The Pedicure / La Lechuza y La Pedicura

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

THIS IS MY third entry about our trip up the mountain. Although I didn’t return with a stone tablet (containing 10 more commandments), I do have one more day of photos to share. Thou shalt like (liketh?) what you see tomorrow. Today’s photos are all labeled. The Eurasian Eagle Owl was one of the last birds we met. By that time, we were almost completely immersed in fog.

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ESTA ES MI tercera entrada sobre nuestro viaje a la montaña. Aunque no regresé con una tableta de piedra (que contiene 10 mandamientos más), tengo un día más de fotos para compartir. Te gustará lo que veas mañana (mi nuevo mandamiento). Las fotos de hoy están todas etiquetadas. El búho real euroasiático fue una de las últimas aves que conocimos. Para entonces, estábamos casi completamente inmersos en la niebla.

First in the fog, there was the Caracara who couldn’t figure out what the Griffon Vulture (yesterday’s post) had found so interesting.
Primera en la niebla, estaba la Caracara que no podía entender qué era tan interesante al Buitre Leonado (mi blog de ayer).

Into The Mystic / En La Mística

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

OUR FRIEND LULU and I rode the cablecar up to the top (800m/2,600 ft) of Mount Calamorro in Benalmádena to take in the breathtaking views and the excellent birds of prey exhibition at the “Garden of the Eagles.” The sun has been shining for days. Clear blue skies. Beach weather. I was certain we’d be able to see Africa from the top.

However, as is common during Semana Santa (Easter Week), the clouds rolled in [this morning] and rain is on its way. I’m told it’s because The Virgin is crying. Well, so am I. Instead of going into the sunshine, we went into the mists. It was 16C (61F) down below and perhaps 9C (48F) at the top — and humid and windy. The concession stand made good money selling sweatshirts — to poorly prepared people like me. Some of the birds were momentarily lost in the fog. But it was still a great time.

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NUESTRA AMIGA LULU y yo viajamos en el teleférico hasta la cima (800m) del Monte Calamorro en Benalmádena para contemplar las impresionantes vistas y la excelente exposición de aves rapaces en el “Jardín de las Águilas”. El sol brilla desde hace días. Cielo azul claro. Estaba seguro de que podríamos ver África desde la cima.

Sin embargo, como es común durante la Semana Santa, las nubes rodaron [esta mañana] y la lluvia está en camino. Me han dicho que es porque la Virgen está llorando. Bueno, yo también. En lugar de entrar a la luz del sol, entramos en la niebla. Fue 16C abajo y quizás 9C en la parte superior — y húmedo y ventoso.. El puesto de la concesión hizo buen dinero vendiendo sudaderas — a personas mal preparadas como yo. Algunas de las aves se perdieron momentáneamente en la niebla. Pero aun así fue un gran día.

I Am A Rock / Soy Una Piedra

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I went on a tour bus Tuesday to the British territory of Gibraltar with friends Judy and Joan. It’s an hour and a half bus ride. They had scheduled a minibus tour up “the rock,” but I said I wasn’t going up in any old-fart minibus; I was going up in the cable car. We parted ways when we arrived in Gibraltar. They headed for their mini-bus and I began my 10-minute walk through town to the cable car base station. The cable car was closed for repairs!

I decided to climb the rock. I even passed a group of 20-somethings who couldn’t keep up with me. I got two-thirds of the way up without a problem (except for some perspiration), when I realized I wouldn’t have enough time to see all I wanted to see, so I started down another way, with a planned stop to visit one of the hangouts of the local Barbary Macaques, a wild population living mostly on the upper Rock — although they sometimes wander into town (and into homes with unlocked doors or open windows).

No one knows for certain when or how the macaques arrived from Morocco, although theories abound. One ludicrous story is that they came by way of a 24km (15-mile) tunnel under the Straight of Gibraltar from Morocco. Anyway, I connected with Judy and Joan’s minibus and I hitched a ride back down for lunch and to then wander the town on my own.

El martes fui en un autobús turístico al territorio británico de Gibraltar con mis amigas Judy y Joan. Es una hora y media en autobús. Habían programado una excursión en minibús por “la roca”, pero dije que no iba a subir en ningún minibús viejo; Yo estaba subiendo en el teleférico. Nos separamos cuando llegamos a Gibraltar. Se dirigieron a su minibús y comencé mi caminata de 10 minutos por la ciudad hasta la estación base del teleférico. El teleférico fue cerrado por reparaciones!

Entonces, decidí subir La Roca. Incluso pasé a un grupo de veinteañeros que no pudieron seguir conmigo. Llegué a las dos terceras partes del camino sin problemas (a excepción de algo de transpiración), cuando me di cuenta de que no tendría tiempo suficiente para ver todo lo que quería ver, así que empecé a tomar otro camino, con una parada planeada para visitar uno de los lugares de reunión de los macacos de Berbería locales, una población salvaje que vive principalmente en la parte superior de la roca, aunque a veces vagan por la ciudad (y en casas con puertas abiertas o ventanas abiertas).

Nadie sabe con certeza cuándo o cómo llegaron los macacos de Marruecos, aunque abundan las teorías. Una historia ridícula es que llegaron a través de un túnel de 24 km (15 millas) debajo del Estrecho de Gibraltar desde Marruecos. De todos modos, me conecté con el minibús de Judy y Joan y me subí a almorzar para luego pasear por la ciudad por mi cuenta.

Tangier, Morocco, distant left. Algeciras, Spain, right. / Tánger, Marruecos, a la izquierda. Algeciras, España, a la derecha.
I reached beyond the next tree line before heading back down. / Llegué más allá de la siguiente línea de árboles antes de volver a bajar.
“Didn’t I just see you … / “¿No te acabo de ver …
… way up there? / … hasta allá arriba?

Everybody Knows About The Bird

Among the things to see at the top of Mount Calamorro (see Wednesday’s blog post) is a birds of prey sanctuary. It’s a pretty spectacular spot and the keepers offer educational shows twice a day. We scheduled our trip up the teleférico so we’d arrive in time for the 1:00 show, which was excellent, even though, due to the lack of winds at the top, some of the high-flying segments had to be cancelled. We did get to see two vultures take off on the limited air currents. But we were warned they might hang out on the rock ridges below until they found an updraft. They finally coasted back in about 20 minutes later, after the show had ended.


(Click any image and spread your wings.)

BEFORE THE SHOW: OWLET UNDER GLASS.
(BABY OWL THROUGH WINDOW.)
THIS VULTURE STAYED CLOSE TO HOME.
SOME VISITORS GOT TO BE PERCHES.
AFTER THE SHOW: WE GOT TO MEET THE KIDS.
THANKFULLY, NO PARTING GIFTS (I WAS WARNED).
NEXT TIME, I THINK I’LL WEAR A HAT.

Don’t you know about the bird?

Way Up High

I was back in Benalmádena Tuesday with Kristina to go up to the town’s highest point, Mount Calamorro. We rode the “teleférico” (funicular or sky cablecar). The trip begins at about 100 meters above sea level (328 feet) and ends at nearly 800 meters (2,625 feet). San Geraldo didn’t join us. He has a fear of heights, can be a bit claustrophobic, and experiences motion sickness. (Other than that, he really is loads of fun.)

BEGINNING THE CLIMB.



Story Time
Twenty-three years ago, we were stuck in a ski lift (chairlift) in Vermont with our friend Judy. While we waited in the air above Mount Snow, Judy and I commented on the spectacular view.

San Geraldo was not pleased. “Stop turning your heads!!! You’re shaking the chair!!!”

We were stuck for about 10 minutes — maybe less — at a height of about 30 feet.

San Geraldo says we swung wildly over a 500-foot chasm — for more than two hours.

Admittedly, there was a really big boulder below us. It would have hurt.

So, I suppose Benalmádena’s Teleférico is one thing San Geraldo will likely never experience.

HANGING OUT THE WINDOW FOR A VIEW BACK TO THE SEA.
LOOKING WEST.
FROM THE TOP: VIEW FROM ONE OF THE HIKING TRAILS.
HANGING OUT THE WINDOW AS WE HEAD BACK DOWN.
WE COULD ALWAYS JUST HIKE THAT TRAIL..
ON A CLEAR DAY, YOU CAN SEE THE NORTH COAST OF AFRICA.
LOOKING BACK AT MOUNT CALAMORRO.
GETTING THERE (IT IS HALF THE FUN).

Maybe some fairy dust would help San Geraldo. 
Then again, maybe not. He’d still be airborne.

I remember seeing this on TV for the first time in 1960 and it gave me goose bumps. It still does. (I won’t grow up, I guess.)