Font has ticks, but they are small.

•2014/05/25 • 2 Comments

One day while bouldering at Isatis (May 6 to be exact), Jill noticed a small black dot on her. After closer inspection, she discovered it was a tick. As a biologist with stacks of field work, she is very familiar with these critters.

Yes, that black dot by her finger is it.

Yes, that black dot by her finger is it.

I didn’t have my macro lens with me, so this blowup will have to do (miss the focus).

He's tiny unlike the ones in socal.

He’s tiny unlike the ones in socal.

Update: Here is the link to the ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) that gives tick distribution (as well as sandfly and mosquito). Just select the one of 4 tick species and it will show the distribution.

El Cogul… our only (by virtue of the Sun God) non-climbing spanish destination.

•2014/05/25 • Leave a Comment

The moment I saw the first boulder problem at El Cogul, I felt like I was back home (well, the US) at another crag with the same rock, landscape, and holds: Joe’s Valley. By virtue of low rainfall amounts, these two crags appear very similar save the greater relief of Utah’s Joe’s Valley.

It's the typical sleepy small, ancient town where everyone stares at you, not out of disrespect, but because, well, you're entertainment. :)

It’s the typical sleepy, small, ancient town where everyone stares at you, not out of disrespect, but because, well, you’re entertainment. :) The graffiti in the background says: 300 years of occupation and resistance (in Catalan). This is Catalan country. And yes, they want independence.

Continue reading ‘El Cogul… our only (by virtue of the Sun God) non-climbing spanish destination.’

Fields of green… plate of pleasure.

•2014/05/25 • 2 Comments

Predominantly visible throughout the Aragon region of Spain are endless fields of dry farming. A quick search showed it to be either wheat or barley. I think I figured it out to be Winter wheat (or Triticum aestivum) planted in early winter for a summer harvest.

All the fields we saw are typical of what is in the background.

All the fields we saw are typical of what is in the background. This is mid May.

Continue reading ‘Fields of green… plate of pleasure.’

Sunning in Harm’s Way

•2014/05/25 • Leave a Comment

While driving back from the bouldering area of Albarracin, I drove over a snake sunning in the road. It was overcast. We stopped to remove him from the road as he sat in the middle. I looked up the type, and of the 13 snakes in the region, he apparently is the Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalars), a non-poisonous but aggressive type. 

What appears to be a Ladder Snake is in the middle of the road.

What appears to be a Ladder Snake is in the middle of the road.

Continue reading ‘Sunning in Harm’s Way’

Hotel el Gallo revisited

•2014/05/22 • Leave a Comment

We returned for the last 5 nights of our trip to the Hotel el Gallo, taking advantage of the ‘climber’s option’ at the hotel. As I mentioned in my last post of the hotel, we were planning on taking advantage of the offer we heard about for climbers* who prefer a cheaper alternative where they have access to a kitchen. Here are some photos of the kitchen area. The only drawback we found was minor: their non-stick pans are all scratched, so if you want to use them, I’d recommend you bring your own, or don’t worry about toxic stuff getting into your food.

View of the kitchen area overview.

View of the kitchen area overview.

Continue reading ‘Hotel el Gallo revisited’

TP…

•2014/05/22 • Leave a Comment

In the US, our toilet paper (TP) is wider than in Spain and France (and probably all of Europe with a trade agreement).

That stain is from coffee while driving. I swear! We use the tp for tissue while driving as an all purpose go-to tissue.

That stain is from coffee while driving. I swear! We use the tp for tissue while driving as an all purpose go-to tissue.

Why? Are Euros possessed of smaller rears, or are Yanks in need of more breadth?

Red Eye to Russia

•2014/05/20 • Leave a Comment

It’s 8:30 am, terminal D Sheremtyevo Airport, Moscow. We flew from Madrid to here from 11:30 pm arriving approximately 6:15 am. I’m wasted. No sleep, but I am laying prone on the cold floor in a rather warm airport. It’s busy, and lots of peeps are starring at me as they walk by. We have a 6.5 hour layover, so let them stare all they want as we will be sitting for another 12.5 hours. My ass, hip, back and neck really doesn’t care one bit as I try to type this on my iPhone.

The internet works so poorly on my laptop, so… iPhone is it.

This is the price of cheap. Cheap flights that is. I can’t help wondering if saving $700 between the both of us is really worth it, but here we are.

I tried to get the flight meal changed to vegetarian, but the best I could do was nothing. their website explains their food options, but the only way to make that change, that I could find, was by calling them on an out-of-country phone number. Seriously? On the plane we had a choice of chicken or beef. Sweet!

My tailbone is getting sore; time to stand up. Only another 17 hours to go till LAX. Btw, Madrid airport is seriously a confusing collection of roads and signs that seems to go on and on and on. I’m not sure how many laps we did just between terminal 1 and 2 (2 has a gas station for the rental car that we drove by but couldn’t get to until we drove around another terminal, it seemed) to find the rental car return. Lame. Maybe Barcelona might be better. Cool city regardless.

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That’s my knee…

 
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