Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 1: excursion

Hi everybody!

Today we went on an excursion through the beautiful surroundings of Aveiro. Of course this couldn't be done without our rental cars. Six of us went to Aveiro to get 3 Citroen C3's and the bigger Seat Ibiza. The boys were the lucky ones for the Seat, the other cars were for all the girls. (at least they are small enough to park ;))

At 11 we started the trip to the east. We passed the small island of Vincent, he will join us in about two weeks for his research, and drove towards the Rio Boco catchment. This is a pretty big catchment and we will work in four different groups on the chemistry, groundwater flow, water balance and the discharge of the area.
Today we had a closer look at the geology and the different landuses and water qualities in the aquifer systems. After a long day (until 20.00hr) we finally got home and ended up in the pizzeria at the corner where they have an internet connection. Tomorrow the real work will start.

Yesterday we could enjoy a real day off, relaxing on the beach was part of that :). At the end of the day it became somewhat cold, we are allready not used to low temperatures... Hopefully we will get used to low temperatures when we get back in Holland, otherwise there is no other option than staying here.
Barra (where our apartments are located) is a nice, small city at the west coast of Portugal, near Aveiro. The beach resembles that of the Netherlands, except for less people on the beach (which we all really like). Some of us brought surfing boards to enjoy the waves in a different way. Hopefully the waves will be somewhat better, otherwise we really have to make some kitesurf friends.

Up to now we really enjoy our stay here and we are looking forward to the next few weeks!

Now up for a good night sleep!

Ciao from Barra

Monday, May 30, 2011

Arrival in Aveiro

Yesterday morning we left Spain and arrived in Aveiro. We first unloaded the equipment in the van into the garage that was kindly made available to us by the Department of Geosciences from the University of Aveiro. Then went out for a good coffee with pastel de nata.

Michel at Cretaceous rock outcrop near the town of Bustos.

In the afternoon we went out to prepare the geological/hydroloigal excusion, which means visiting the excursion locations to see if everything is still there. One time, we found out that somebody had constructed a building right in front of our Trias formation outcrop, which had become inaccessible. This time, everything was still as it used to be so we are confident that we can go ahead with the excursion tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Preparation at VU University

The Aveiro part of the Portugal field course is about to start. This is the part where the students have to demonstrate what they have learned over the past year, including earlier field courses in Twente (NP) and in the Algarve. For Linda, Michel and me it has been a period of frantically collecting and testing instruments, which are normally stored in the basement of our university, and finally loading everything in our van. I am pretty sure that we haven't forgotten enything, mainly thanks to Linda's and Michel's throrough checking

Today we departed from Amsterdam in the morning and we are now in Chatellerault, France, resting from the many hours of driving. Tomorrow we'll continue our trip and hope to arrive in Salamanca, Spain. We would then arrive in Aveiro on Sunday and we'll meet the students there and start our field course on Tuesday.