APK 2017 convention

Torres Novas - October 20 to 22, 2017

Portugal ? It's awesome ! You will understand why ...

Thursday 19/10, here we go, Samuel, Yoann and me, for a few days in Portugal. After a quick arrival in Porto, we go directly to the south, to Alcobaça, near Nazaré.

We booked our rooms in a guest house. And we haven't regretted it! Despite a late arrival, we are warmly welcomed by Aldara (alias Aldi) and Maria, with a little Porto wine and a gift for Sam.

Obviously, Aldi was afraid that we are starving! Dishes are numerous, all as good as each other ... it promises for the future! And impossible to escape the traditional codfish...

On Friday morning, on the Aldi advice, we leave for the day to visit the surroundings.
Despite a mixed weather, we start with the park "Bacalhôa Buddha Eden" created by a rich businessman in the vineyard. The least we can say is that this park, divided into two parts (Buddhist gardens and gardens dedicated to African art), is a little bit surprising.

We continue our journey few kilometers away, by visiting Obidos city and its ramparts still in excellent condition.

Yoann will find us a very good restaurant away from the tourist area, where we will eat again ... too much! And it's starting to affect our mental health !

After the lunch break, we went to the coast. We first pass by the beautiful Obidos lagoon which host a large number of birds (herons, flamingos, spoonbills, ducks and various other waders), with landscapes alternating between calm and wild nature.
We go up along the coast to Nazaré, along beautiful cliffs, but also through the desolate lands ravaged by arson a few days ago.

Nazaré: obligatory passage ! Even if THE wave was not there, we took the opportunity to visit this "mythical" place and do a little traction sailing under the sunset glow.

We end up returning to the cottage, where again Aldi and Maria have prepared a great meal. We will all eat together, with a neighbor, and Sam will not miss the opportunity to speak about the Portuguese accent ;)

Saturday, October 21st. Let the serious things begin !

Direction Torres Novas, 1 hour drive east, to attend the 17th APK Congress. This is a first for us, and we will quickly be delighted to have made the trip!
Arriving on site, the place can surprise : a little away from the city, in a rather neglected area and 1 hour drive from Lisbon. But once inside...
The exhibition is excellent: facilities quality, fishes enhancement, room for conferences, restaurant on site, etc ... Everything is there to spend an excellent convention ! And that's without counting on the warm welcome of the organizing team.

And here are some fish among 350 (and more) pairs or groups exposed.

Fundulopanchax amieti Edéa-Yaoundé Km 18 C 89-31

Fundulopanchax nigerianus Misaje ADL 13-15

Fundulopanchax nigerianus Dumbo ADL 13-16

Fundulopanchax nigerianus Innidere

Aphyosemion striatum LEC 93-29

Aphyosemion primigenium GBN 88-10

Aphyosemion ottogartneri Mpassa CI 2015

Aphyosemion hera ARK 96 1-2

Aphyosemion pascheni festivum Nkolbonda HLM 99-23

Aphyosemion herzogi Nsork Oveng GEMLCG 2007-23

Aphyosemion ogoense GHP 80-24

Aphyosemion jeanhuberi Malinga GBG 93-20

Aphyosemion striatum GEMHS 00-33

Aphyosemion sp. Wézé GLC 14

Aphyosemion celiae celiae Mambanda GPE 90-17

Diapteron fulgens LEC 93-7

Aphyosemion elberti (bualanum) Kolgolo 2 ABDK 10-351

Epiplatys ansorgi Massana GJS 00-2

Laimosemion mahdiensis Blackwater Creek GUY 97-5

Nothobranchius flammicomantis FTZ 10-21

Nothobranchius orthonotus Mabalane MZG 06-3

Aplocheilus lineatus Goa

In the afternoon will be held the two conferences: the first on the ASA by J.W. Hoetmer, and the second on the Plataplochilus during my last trip to Gabon in 2016.
And for that, Sam is already in place !

Dinner, hearty as usual for few days, will be spent in a very good atmosphere. The awards ceremony will be at the end of the meal. This is also an opportunity for me to recover the prize for the photo contest:)

After a short night, we meet early on Sunday morning to help to store the exhibition stuff. The auction follows, from where we will bring some pairs... it will be nice for the plane !
After a last meal, we leave in the middle of the afternoon towards Lisbon. A small apartment awaits us... provided to go to get the keys in the city center! Here's what to put in the ambiance, and discover Lisbon ... and its reliefs !

A little tired, Sam prefers to stay at the apartment. So we leave, Yoann and I, in Lisbon to walk and eat a piece. We walk a lot of streets in the neighborhoods of Alfama, and eat on a nice little place.

Monday, busy schedule on the horizon!
We begin with the Oceanarium visit. With a central marine aquarium of 5 million liters, the visit is all around this beautiful central tank. But what interests us the most is the gigantic freshwater tank designed by Mr. T. Amano. This aquascaping tank measures 40m long for 160,000 liters. With initially 46 species of plants and 10 000 fishes introduced, this aquarium is simply magnificent ... testify these few photos/videos.

After having "feasted the pupils" all morning, we spend the afternoon in Lisbon, with Sam this time.
Between ice cream, cocktails and multiple photobomb sessions, it's time to take a last dinner in Portugal. And for that, we will eat in a restaurant ... of choice. For me, it will be "Drunk rabbit" (Rabbit with brandy!).

Tuesday morning. Here, all good things end a day. It's time to go back to France. Direction the airport, with a slight additional apprehension for Sam and the "few" fishes in his suitcase. ;)
This small journey (spent in very good company) was a pure success. The ("true") Portuguese have a real sense of hospitality and are of an exemplary kindness. I thank all the APK team who did everything to spend an excellent convention, which was my case. It's with great pleasure that I will come back next year!

And bonus video (no, don't thank me Sam !):