Saturday, May 19, 2012

Research Travel on Cyprus

May 14th to May 19th 2012.

Again I find my self on my adopted research patch - Cyprus. Away from Athens, far to the East. Once and a while I get to guide resarch associates in the places we study. On this occasion I spent five days on the island - the first three with very good friends from Portugal: Professor Teresa Ferreira and Researcher Pedro Segurado. Next two days were spent with associates in Lefkosia and Lemessos. We discussed biodiversity strategy, mapped perrenial stream reaches, researched chemical pollution effects, visited some eel habitat, and discussed project proposals.

I'll soon post some photos of our activities, just to give an impression of the sort of work we naturalists get tied up in. It was another great trip. Thanks to all who participated!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ecotourism: Evinos River Rafting

May 4, 2012. A day out with CYA students - rafting one of Greece's most beautiful springtime rivers, the Evinos. The rafting outfit is run by the very capable ALPIN CLUB at Hani Banias, very close to Nafpactos in Western Greece. Its about a 3.5 hour drive from Athens (just 45 minutes from Nafpactos). We left Athens by coach at 7:40 and after an easy drive (and a 20 min. provisions stop) were at Hani Banias at 11:30. Here the adventure begins! We first take a lessen in Rafting by the well-versed crew: Vassilis, Stavros, Alexandros and their local helper Lefteris. We help carry three rafts in the water and...then 22 students and two guides are out. I was leading with my good friend Vassilis Hatzirvassanis. He likes to draw, watch tadpoles, molest snakes, and basically is good at paddling. The university students had a great ride. 11 Kms of river, only up to 2 grade difficulty- totally safe. And as a bonus lots and lots of river swimming. After we got back at Camp we had a good lunch and took off to a nearby gorge for a ravine hike. A mystic Holm oak - Plane forest, again lots of tadpoles, slippery rocks, wild boar tracks. Back by nightfall at the river camp. Alpin Club thanks!