Dove Step 3 – Day 1

Daily distance: 38.7km / 24.1mi
Duration: 8.24hrs.

Weather: 16 degrees, 11mph south westerlies gusting insane on Tarifa beach, cloud clearing – super sunny afternoon.

Dove Step 3 bird list: 58 species. 

Best birds: Kentish Plover, Hen Harrier, 110+ White Storks over in one group, peak count of Griffon Vulture 13 in the air at one time!

It feels incredibly good to be moving. We clocked a solid 24 miles and are getting into the groove of shifting efficiently. A couple of blisters in camp, fortunately most on Rob.

We started on Tarifa Beach in seriously blustery conditions and followed the coastline west. Crested Lark and Kentish Plover were both lifers for me – Audouin’s Gull was a pleasure too. Once we turned inland we entered the Sierra de Fates mountain range. As soon as we gained some elevation we had vultures in the air – a pure life bonus! It really felt like there is nothing else I should be doing right now, the vultures, mountain and sunshine were validation of Dove Step 3! At least today. 

Our miles also included some killer butterflies including; Monarch, Clepatria, Painted Lady. Plus, the first wild tortoise I’ve ever seen; Iberian Pond Tortoise. As we approached a ford – alarmed at our presence they plopped into water and the periscoped to look at us!

Whilst it’s gratifying to get some miles in our legs I’ll be calmer once we are a week or two in. Our fundraising total is increasing at a much better pace than us. It was a huge motivaton to see that our total is already beyond 50% of total. Motivation to get ourselves up and at it again at dawn… 


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