So after a triumphant morning collecting worms we needed to refuel before sampling the lower 1200M. This called for some serious refuelling and Luis’s spotted the solution in a cafe by the Madalena ferry port selling a Porto specialty, a Francesinha – basically a sandwich filled with meat and a whole lot besides covered with what tasted like a Spaghetti Bolognese sauce. This is what that look’s like:
So then back to work – three of us returned to the mountain whilst we left Luis, who was still serious under the whether, at the hotel to start bagging and tagging the mornings samples. The three of us starting at 1200M where the nation park that surrounds the main volcanic peak of Pico ends sampling both in the Pasteur and the native vegetation to ensure that this transition was not influencing the soil organisms. At this point I need to answer some of my critiques who believe that with growing years I have taken a more supervisory role – I still dig and here’s a picture to prove it !!
So we continued sampling down the mountain taking a samples every ~200M drop in altitude completing our transect with 12 samples between 1700M and 150M above sea level – so our main objective was complete. But the excitement really stepped-up at site 9 (920M) when the cry ‘Amynthas’ sounded – and of course it was Joca who delivered the icing on the cake. We had found a second island population and this invasive species and the trip had been a complete success…..time to celebrate and yes this means its time to eat. On the Azores you are surrounded by water and that means the best seafood you will ever find is available to you and that evening meal delivered.