Volcanoes, Gold, Gemstones and Ecology
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What a start to our day, as we alighted our coach a few kilometres short of Las Negras, we were surrounded by beauty, the ground around us covered in wonderful pink and white, flowering caper plants.
Our small group of 28 were all issued with hand lens magnifiers to hang round our necks, making us feel just like professional geologists, we had a quick lesson in basic geology before setting off on a gentle trek through the beautiful Cabo de Gata Regional Park.
Our guide for the day was David Monge, an expert in the Flora, Fauna and Geology of the park, he not only works in the park but also lives there. He was going to try and explain the wonders of the surrounding terrain in layman’s terms that we could all understand.
As we strolled towards Las Negras we learnt about Plate tectonics, Alluvial fans, Magma, Plumose structures and Plutonic Rocks, as well as the difference between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. We were expecting to have to do an examination at the end of the day!
After an expensive refreshment stop in the old gold mining town of Rodalquilar we carried on to Isleta del Moro for views of and information about the Volcanoes del Frailes across the bay. Our final stop, a short distance away was on the beach at Los Escullos where we were shown perfect examples of Oolites.
Maybe we did not come away from our visit as Geological experts, but perhaps with a bit more knowledge about the formation of the stunning Cabo de Gata Regional park all those millions of years ago.
We finished off the day with a very nice lunch at the cowboy themed Hostal Alba in Albaricoques, surrounded by TVs showing Spaghetti westerns.
Pleistocene – the geological epoch which lasted from about 2588000 to 11700 years ago, spanning the world’s recent period of repeated glaciations. The Pleistocene is the first epoch of the Quaternary Period or sixth epoch of the Cenozoic Era.
Pliocene – the period in the geologic timescale that extends from 5332 million to 2588 million years before present. It is the second and youngest epoch of the Neogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Pliocene follows the Miocene Epoch and is followed by the Pleistocene Epoch.