#Montaña Rojo EA8/LA-026 19-Nov-2015
We’d had a family day so far and had visited the Parque Nacional de Timanfay and the Montaña del Feugo early. This is a truely wonderful experience. The last eruption was in 1830 and there is something like 70km^2 of untouched Lava fields and ash fields. You can’t walk about the area, you have to take a coach which drives around the centre of the last eruption. That eruption went on for several years. It’s only when you get up close you really begin to understand what eruptions must be like. I looked at the side of a volcano cone covered in black ash the size of fine gravel and then realised that all the rocks about the size of small melons were on top of the ash. That’s when you realise the rocks were shot out of the eruption at high velocity and were very. very hot. Scary stuff. At the visitor centre they have some bore holes about 20m deep, pour a bucket water down and 2 seconds later you have a geyser and steam column about 20m in the air, the ground is 400C down there!
After that we drove to Playa Blanca at the south of the island. Mrs & Miss FMF went to off to explore the marina and have some late lunch in the sun giving me a 2.5hr SOTA window. The parking place was about 10mins drive from where I dropped them, marked with the blue blob in the image below.
This is a domestic area and there are loads of places to park. On with the boots and I followed the track marked on the map. This was easy and straightforward. There were lots of people on the summit, caldera path and the path up. Being short of time I turned on the Jesse Owens and got up to the trig in about 25mins. With so many people on the summit I decided the trig point was not the best place to set up, also the concrete base is quite high, over a 1m. It was just a bit to awkward when there were plenty of other places in the AZ that would be out of the way.
Trig point EA8/LA-026
My operating point. The trig is behind me about 10m away. The pole was wedged into a crack in the rock and lumps of lava piled around to support the base and guys. I had to do quite a scavenge to find some lumps heavy enough to do the job. Antenna is rigged for 20m, the 20/30m loading coil clearly visible.
View back to Playa Blanca and the caldera path from my operating position. Temp was 27C but there was a strong wind that was very cooling.
In the distance was Atalaya de Femes EA8/LA-002. There are plenty of masts and antennas on this summit. An access road rises from the village of Femes the far side of the summit. This is one of the biggest summits on the island.
Out to the south in the haze I could faintly discern the outline of the next island in the chain, Fuerteventura.
As I was short of time again I decided on just 20m. 10m was probably open but I knew I’d workable on 20m by the chasers. There were plenty of SSB chasers, 22 in all and ODX was Phil VE1WT. I switched to CW and managed N4EX although I did have a persistent caller who refused to follow my directed calls. This did slow me down and was really annoying when I was in a rush. But this is the problem when you are somewhere new and unique for many chasers. The persistent caller did apologise on air to me the next day. Over excitement? Maybe. I’ve had a quite a few emails since returning home from all over the SOTAsphere, all saying the same thing, the guy always ignores directed calls. I’m not going to identify the bloke unless he does this to me again, but he should consider the fact he has a worldwide reputation for poor operating style!
I was approached by a French couple who were intrigued by what was happening and in my best schoolboy French I managed to explain what was happening. Just as a I was packing away a British chap came up and struck a conversation. Like me, he’d left his wife down in the town so he could have a quick stroll up the summit.
A selfie looking pleased, well that’s 2 more uniques in the bag. The SOTA cap is a treasured gift sent from a W7-land activator. There are only a few in existence and I only wear it for special SOTA occasions. I took it 3100kms just for these summits!
It took 20mins to get the car, boots off, trainers on and off to meet Mrs & Miss FMF. Well it was drive 10m then stop and go back and pick up the bag that was sat by the road and put it in the boot(trunk)! Could have been embarrassing to lose the bag with my passport in it and expensive as it my camera, 817 and tablet too!
This is another very easy summit to activate. At this point I was happy with the activations. I’d put on 2 summits, had added EA8 to my list of countries activated. With 2 activations, anyone who had worked me on both (there were a few by now) had 2 different EA8/LA summits and Africa chased which is worth a lot to people collecting the Mountain Hunter Award. It was a bonus when Mrs. FMF told me that I could have all of Friday to do what I wanted as she and Helen were going to have a pool and spa day.