Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 18, 19, 20 and 21 - Finishing off and heading back to Tenerife

So the last two days of sampling are here and they were both shorter days as we had made good time in the last week, covering areas with time to spare and both days went off without any major hitches. The last day I was on soil gas sampling and although nothing went wrong with the day, all but three sites were very difficult to sample from, indicating poor permeability of the soils we were sampling from.

The main geological feature observed on the last day were by the coast and consisted of many fine layers of fin e ash - airfall deposits.

Finely laminated airfall deposits

The day has finally arrived. Though the ferry is tomorrow morning, we are leaving today. Luggage packed, equipment packed, samples packed, house clean and off we go. We are heading to Santa Cruz, La Palma's capital, where the ferry back to Tenerife leaves from at 4am tomorrow. We are taking the long way round by taking the road over the north of the island via the geochemical station in Tazacorte. 

The road takes views over Tazacorte and parts of El Paso, it has been cut in to the Taburiente strato- volcano and passes through some spectacular pyroclastic deposits that contained evidence of base surge sedimentary structures. 

The road became quite 'zig-zaggy' with some very tight corners to get around, but it was well worth it. We pulled in to the car park at the top and went for a very short walk to see the caldera over 2000 meters below our feet, we were down there collecting samples just a week or so ago! Roques de Los Muchachos, the highest point of La Palma.

The highest point on La Palma

A beautiful clear day, again above the clouds, we could see Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. Much closer, peering through the clouds we could see our filed area, Cumbre Vieja. 

From the top of Roques de Los Muchachos with Cumbre Vieja rising above the clouds over my left shoulder

A little cheeky Dream Team selfie at the summit (front to back: me, Samara and Hannah)

Also at the summit is the IAC; the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. La Palma is known for its perfectly clear night skies perfect for star gazing and galaxy hunting.

Just a handful of the IAC telescopes

Well the time has come to say good-bye to La Isla Bonita. La Palma you are truly beautiful and magical and I can't wait to come back. But for now it is Adios!

The 4 am ferry called at La Gomera and on approaching Tenerife we were greeted by a sunrise over Mount Teide.

Sunrise over Teide, she looks so small!

We have today off and due to a tyre blow out, so do the Tenerife interns, which is great as we can have a day of catching up. This does mean however, they have to go out in to the field to complete their sampling tomorrow, so we had an extra day off - much needed after pretty much travelling through the night and getting next to no sleep for the best part of 36 hours. But its all part and part of fieldwork, those little tests, trials and tribulations. 

Every day is an adventure!

Buenos noches de Tenerife!

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