The weather was stunning for the morning activation of Roque del Conde EA8/TF-010 on Wednesday 8th March 2017. Too stunning in fact. It was supposed to be winter here in the Canaries. Still 20-23 degrees at the coastal resorts (hence why people flock here for winter sun), but chilly, windy and somewhat wetter in the mountains - as we experienced on Sunday's activation of EA8/TF-007.
However, the Canaries are currently in prime target for a very warm African wind that is bumping up the temperatures 5-10 degrees yesterday, and up to 15 degrees today. Therefore it was a balmy and still 25 degrees on the 1000m+ summit for the activation, and 35 degrees for much of the walk, particularly the descent. Phew! Seemed crazy that we each collected a winter bonus for this when T-shirts, sunglasses, sunhats and suncream were the order of the day, but we are assured that this is freak weather for early March in Tenerife.
I know that usually at this time, Pico del Teide EA8/TF-001 is inaccessible due to snow, but there's been no sign of any up there all week. Anyway, it was a good activation:
EA8/M0HGY/P: 3 QSOs on 2m FM + 17 on 20m SSB = 20 total.
EA8/M1EYP/P: 3 QSOs on 2m FM + 27 on 20m CW = 30 total.
We shared that FT-817 as the "deaf delay" issue on the HB1B still remained. The first HF band tried was actually 12m, but it was completely dead. I was relieved to hear a very busy 20m band when I changed antennas!
The walk back was hard work on uneven cobbled stone paths and in 35 degree heat. The killer at the end was having to drop down to the foot of a very deep narrow gorge, and then climb out of it again. I'll never grumble about Moel Faen after Moel y Gamelin GW/NW-042 again, honest I won't! The good thing about the 35 degree heat was that it had made our outdoor pool at the villa into a warm bath by the time we got back. Well, still cool enough to be refreshing, but without that bitter cold that makes lowering yourself in a 15 minute ordeal! The temperature was also responsible for a neat magic trick - making four pints of Estrella Galacia disappear very quickly...
OK, so that was SOTA all done for this holiday (or so we assumed - we actually managed to contrive a 'bonus' activation of Rojar EA8/TF-019 the following day!). Thanks to all the chasers that called in. We had some really good interest levels on 20m both for Jimmy on SSB and me on CW, so that was fun. Now the thoughts turned to tasty food (octopus, squid, Canarian potatoes etc, or maybe a buffet) after some more delicious cold beer - but first, another dip in the lovely pool...