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The Iberianature Forum "Summit" for The weekend of 30th April 2010

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2009, 11:47 AM »
Greetings All,
Well, that's it then! The Ladies, Lucy 'n' Lisa, have decided it for us :-X  - so looks like Los Monegros it is.

I'm-game-if-you-lot-are regs., :angel:
Technopat

PS.
I realise this is peeping into Chapter 2 a bit, but maybe we can get some media coverage: Large international group of nature tourists give boost to local eco-tourism - Los Monegros chosen as one of Spain's last remaining unique eco-systems - Wildlife experts from all over Europe and (?) meet in region threatened by speculation
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2009, 11:56 AM »
Greetings All,
Just popped into the Web site Nick posted, En.-language link at the bottom of their page.

Not sure of the technical/legal/time-consuming implications of this kind of thing, but is there any way iberianatureforum could stick their logo onto our home page - if they are willing to do same - and build up an informal network of non-profit associations at local level?

Just-a-thought regs.,  :angel:
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2009, 18:47 PM »
I think Los Monegros would be a good place to explore..... And the dates that suit the Madrid lot are OK for me too....

So we have a loose idea that Los Monegros is a venue with actual site to be decided....

A starting date of Thursday 28th of April.....

Sounds like progress... I need t get a newsletter out to all our members at some point as well but that can wait till the time and location is arranged in concrete terms.. (Sp anyone?) tee hee.. :)

Got to be tents though yes? come rain or shine? Does that Albergue Lisa mentions have camping facilities? I couldn't see any but maybe there are some nearby...
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 18:50 PM by Clive »
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2009, 19:25 PM »
Great!
All things being equal, we'll both be there, arriving on the Friday.  :)

(Why does it have to be camping, by the way? Albergue doesn't have rooms/dorms?.....Just had a look and the place doesn't seem to have a campsite.)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 19:28 PM by glennie »

Offline Clive

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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2009, 19:50 PM »
The topic here about Los Monegros gran scala project is at...
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,1020.0.html
and it needs updating.... post there anyone who has more infor please....

Camping Glennie?... I can't help it I find sleeping in a tent so utterly resting that I would live in a tent again if the opportunity arose.... Still, it's not obligatory for this get together.. :) Just if I had the choice I would choose a tent over 4 concrete walls....

Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2009, 20:33 PM »
Greetings All,
Maybe one of Oh Our Great Wise Admins could send a PM to Steve West (sorry to lumber you, Steve  :technodevil: ), as he seems to be the resident iberianatureforum expert on Los Monegros, and ask his advice/opinion as to places to stay, organisations to contact, etc.

Can-take-a-few-roughs-with-a-smooth-so-if-camping-is-where-it's-at regs.,
Technopat

Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2009, 20:37 PM »
PS.
Quote
in concrete terms.. (Sp anyone?) tee hee...
What with all this talk of tents & Sp. translations, surely that should have been "Tp" :dancing:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2009, 17:39 PM »
Hola todos y 'tipis' (curious - I can't find 'tipi' in any of my English-Spanish dictionaries, even as a direct translation - so you have us there Teeps!),

The puente de mayo is pretty much the worst week on my year, hence my conspicuous absence from the Picos Summit. But there you go. Menos malo is that as Los Monegros is so near to me I could join the Summit from the Sunday morning. But as I would be on my our The Bike and I'd probably be there before most of you slugabeds are up  :dancing:

One slight downside is that I wouldn't therefore be able to add my Kangoo to the car pool, nor my two spare tents. Talking of which I'm with Clive backing the camping lobby. We found a fabulous camp site at Murillo de Gallego, but sadly that's not in Los Monegros itself (themselves - Teeps?)! But here's a possibility; Alcubierre seems to be fairly typiclal village of Los Mongros. I'm always sceptical of municipal camp sites but the one revue seems positive and I like the reference to the bar and the craic therein! Maybe we coud do more detailed research over the winter.

Hasta luego

Simon

Offline glennie

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« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2009, 17:53 PM »
Hola todos y 'tipis' (curious - I can't find 'tipi' in any of my English-Spanish dictionaries, even as a direct translation - so you have us there Teeps!),
The puente de mayo is pretty much the worst week on my year, hence my conspicuous absence from the Picos Summit.
Simon

As far as free weekends are concerned, it's always gonna be cuentas ajenas versus autonomos, esp.as so many of the latter are dependent on Brits coming to Spain for getaways over Bank Holidays.
 
Cuentas ajenas like me were favored in 2009.
It would be perfectly reasonable to favour the autonomos in 2010 and not use a bank hol for the summit.
I can wait till 2011.

Simon

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« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2009, 22:17 PM »
Hi Glennis, et al.

I didn't mean to put a damper on the dates - just saying how it is for me that's all. It might be all OK in the event.

Simes


Offline Technopat

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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2009, 14:28 PM »
Greetings Glennie, Simon 'n' All,
Simon's mention of Alcubierre definitely clinches it for yours truly. Regardless of the interest of the place nature-wise - orchids? flutterbies? - as this 'ere great iberianatureforum's resident expert on Orwell (pretenders to the title: Get yer mitts up!) and defender of lost causes (the huge resort at Los Monegros will go ahead as planned - instead of putting up our taxes, the government should be defending private interest - oops! sorry! wrong comunidad...), Los Monegros it is.

That particular village is the nearest to the part of the Aragón front where GO was stationed with the poumistas, and while I can think of few things more boring than to "do" the Orwell route the local tourist board touts, as I would imagine it to be based on endless trenches and pillboxes, I'd be interested to see the general terrain he describes in Homage to Catalonia. As for the village itself, his description of it is pretty off-putting, so it would be an interesting from a sociological (anthropological?) viewpoint to see how much it might have prospered over the last 70-odd years.

Simon, I know of a whippersnapper (Sp. anyone?) who'd be more than delighted if you turned up on The Bike and let 'im ir de paquete (Sp. anyone?) - which would add a seat to the car pool for local trips.

Haven't-camped-out-in-years regs.,
TentTipi
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2009, 13:25 PM »
Hi Teeps and assorted shroomies (I'm now a vroomy-shroomy I guess  8))

OK, so we have a G.O. pilgrimage as well as all the other stuff. I hesitate to gainsay Professor Teeps in his obsessive encylopaedic knowlege of the Man, but I think it would be interesting to dedicate a little time to the remains even if they have been transmogrified into a heritage site. Besides, it strikes me that the trenches might make pretty good lookout points for the birding fraternity/soriety (what is the non-gender specific term?).

But I think there's a more serious point here about the whole idea of going to Los Monegros. The success of the two Summits thus far have been very much thanks to the sterling work of our 'hosts'; Clive and Sue at Grazalema and the redoubtable Lisa in Los Picos. But who among us knows enough about the area to find "the interest of the place nature-wise - orchids? flutterbies?", and who is going to 'own' the leadership rôle? I've no doubt that between us we all have lots to contribute, but you know what they say about horses, committees and camels . . .

I'm sure there's a way around this. Maybe we should form sub-groups based around our specal interests; avifauma, flora, environment, etc. as well as old trenches and new wine (that's me and Technopat I guess  >:D) and propose/plan itineraries thereform? Just an idea.

Back to Teeps's "whippersnapper" - now that's what you call trust Mr T! OK, as long as said critter is properly clad, shod and hatted and is trained in the art of hanging on! See below* for the beasty in question  :speechless:

Regs

Simon

PS for Technopat (or anyone else for that matter): I'm thinking of carrying on after the Summit to the Rincon de Ademuz and have found what looks like a good route down to Teruel avoiding Zaragoza. This cunningly takes me via Belchite - more war memorials - so do you fancy accompanying me down that way on you way home to Madrid?

* coincidentally, this is the church at the centre of the Battle of Conques, which I descibed in a Guardian article earlier on this year. The wall behing me is litterally covered with bullet holes, resembling more the surface of a sponge that a masonary façade!
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 13:29 PM by Simon »

Offline lisa

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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2009, 15:08 PM »
I'm so pleased you all like the idea of Los Monegros  8) Particularly Simon! I think Albucierre (or is that Alcubierre? Where has that embarrassed smiley gone?) would be a good base too as it's not far from the lagoon at Sariñena. Tree and I just mooched around and saw (and heard) loads in our short time. I see Nick spent time in Zaragoza? Perhaps he has more ideas. Otherwise let's all study over the coming months, as if we have nothing else to do  ::)
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2009, 18:39 PM »
Greetings All, and seeing as I seem to detect certain amount of favouritism rearing it's whatchamacallit, "particularly Simon",

Re. baile de letras in Alcubierre , think "beer" :lighttbulb:

Re. trenches as lookout points, I'd say they'd make great snake pits, if dry, and frog/toad holes if wet 'n' muddy.

Re.
Quote
for the birding fraternity/soriety (what is the non-gender specific term?).
Would community do? - There's a good use of the verb "do" for you :dancing: (Sp. anyone?)

Re. horses, committees and camels,
Quote
Maybe one of Oh Our Great Wise Admins could send a PM to Steve West (sorry to lumber you, Steve  technodevil ), as he seems to be the resident iberianatureforum expert on Los Monegros, and ask his advice/opinion as to places to stay, organisations to contact, etc.

Re. Special interest groups, Simon - I'll leave the trenches to your working group while I chair the wine-tasting WG - but don't expect any progress reports...

Re. war memorials, might give it a miss, but if it's not too far out of our way and/or whatever dates we're talking 'bout, might pop along.

Despite-looming-clouds-'n'-dire-forecasts-of-rain-I-actually-managed-to-keep-all-the-windows-open-all-day-here regs.,
Technopat

PS.
Simon, you reckon Lisa is redoubtable?
You That's only 'cos you didn't find yerself at the snapping end of Lidia - I'm still licking the wounds...
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lucy

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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2009, 19:37 PM »
Am I the only one not keen on camping?  (I know I'm being wimpy - but the ground is hard, and the nights are cold).

Simon

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« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2009, 21:51 PM »
Evenin' all (and the doughty Lisa - at this rate she'll be fiesty next  >:D)

OK so let's get straight on the camping front. Glennie has already mentioned that he's not sure about camping and now Lucy. Yep, it may be really cold up there in early spring, especially if there's anything of the north in the wind, as Teeps' hero, the other Mr Blair (relation?) pointed out! I've been labouring under the impression that one of the outcomes of the Picos bash was a desire to go camping but as I wasn't there I don't know the who's, how's and why's. Bearing in mind our democratical nature (favouritism indeed  >:D) I think we have give a casting vote to folks less barking rugged/outdoor types than some of us 'ere. From my own point of view I have doubts about not having a husky to cuddle up to if it turns chilly - I'm thinking quite seriously about taking a ferret along with me on the bike - yep, sharing a sleepng back with a ferret, now that's trust!

Back to Prof. T's ascerbic comments about our various specialisms - OK, you organise a trip aroud the best of the Somontano vineries, ha ha!

Regs

Simon

PS could we have some clarification about dates. My calendario laboral doesn't show a puente de mayo at all, the 1st being on a Saturday, but Clive is talking about starting on the 28th - that's a Wednesday by my book!

Offline glennie

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« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2009, 22:59 PM »
I don't actually have any camping gear whatsoever and don't actually know if I know anyone who i) has some and ii) would lend it to me. It also strikes me that it could indeed be quite nippy at night at that time of year.

I know some campsites have what are called bungalows - wooden huts with basic furnishing. Do we know if they are available at any of the sites mentioned?

....What about this place?

http://www.campings.net/alquiler-bungalows-camping-lake-caspe-en-caspe-ID1460.htm
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 23:06 PM by glennie »

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2009, 01:30 AM »
Greetings All,
Had a vague idea that it was Glennie's suggestion to sleep rough/camp out, but that doesn't really fit with 'is latest posting, and Lucy's latest would also rule her out as the instigator, so it must have been Simon... no, 'ang about - he wasn't among those present. Clive's absence was also commented on...

GO was out in that neck of the woods from January to May, and excerpts chosen at random from Homage to Catalonia (1938) include the following:
Quote
Often in the mornings the valley was hidden under seas of cloud, out of which the hills rose flat and blue...
Quote
Beyond Huesca there were more hills of the same formation as our own, streaked with a pettern of snow...
Quote
In the far distance the monstruous peaks of the Pyrenees, where the snow never melts, seemed to float upon nothing. Even down in the valley everything looked dead and bare...
Quote
Meanwhile, firewood - always firewood. Throughout that period there is probably no entry in my diary that does not mention firewood, or rather the lack of it. We were between two and three thousand feet above sea level, it was mid winter and the cold was unspeakable... and the wintry sun often shone for an hour in the middle of the day; but even if it was not really cold, I assure you that it seemed so. Sometimes there were shrieking winds..., sometimes there were mists that poured into the trench like liquid and seemed to penetrate your bones.

He goes on in typical Orwell mode:
Quote
One icy night I made a list in my diary of all the clothes I was wearing. It is of some interest as showing the amount of clothes the human body can carry.  I was wearing a thick vest and pants, a flannel shirt, two pullovers, a woollen jacket, a pigskin jacket, corduroy breeches, puttees, thick socks, boots, a stout trench-coat, a muffler, lined leather gloves, and a woollen cap. Nevertheless I was shivering like a jelly.

Get the picture? That said, th eearth has apparently been warming up since then so it might not be too harsh a winter :)

Certainly-a-change-from-the-Costa-del-Sol-for-the-iberianatureforumers-belonging-to-the-Fracción-Andaluza regs.,
Technopat

PS.
Yours truly has slept lain awake shivering out under the star-studded sky in minus 12 degrees Centigrade - but that was in mis años mozos (En. anyone?) and I'm pretty certain that Mrs Tp - much as she loves me - would not be impressed

P*S.
On the other hand, a quick google shows that Alcubierre is just over an hour's drive from the Somontano vineries, so the fieldwork to be carried out by Technopat's WG looks fraught with interest :dancing: ... and warmth :technodevil:

P*PS.
Glennie, if this mad enterprise - the tenting, I mean - goes ahead, I can get me mitts on me brother-in-law's bijou two-bedroom (?) tent, but I reckon I'll need the 4 bags we've got.

P*P*S.
Glennie, no offence meant, but those bungalows look pretty dire. Whatever happened to Lisa's original suggestion of the Albergue Monegros - seems to have a lot going for it :noidea:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline lucy

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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2009, 22:17 PM »
Moving away from the accomodation aspect for a moment, while scouting around for general info on Los Monegros I found this nice description of the fauna  (www.elserral.com):

En el mismo cerro en que se halla esta casa, (situated in the Sierra de Alcubierre ) encontramos uno de los dormideros de buitres más grandes que se conocen. Singular espectáculo, cuando acuden planeando más de 500 ejemplares al atardecer. Más tarde se oirá el siseo de la lechuza o el grito de la presa sorprendida por el silencioso vuelo del Buho real, la mayor de las rapaces nocturnas.

Asombra la abundancia del mayor de los pájaros, el cuervo, a veces en concentraciones de mas de 200 ejemplares lo que resulta insólito dada la regresión de esta especie. Sorprende ver en vuelo de caza a águilas como la Real, nidificadora en la zona, al igual que la culebrera, calzada y un largo etc. de rapaces.

Entre los reptiles destacan especies como la culebra bastarda, la mayor del continente, junto a otras de menor tamaño como la de escalera, coronela y varias especies de lagartijas, y por supuesto el lagarto ocelado, el saurio de mayor tamaño en Europa.

Sorprende la abundancia de anfibios como el sapo corredor, el común o la rana perezzi en cantidades que cuesta imaginar en terrenos tan áridos..

Arácnidos como las argiopes lobata y bruenichi, constructoras de telas, o grandes cazadoras como la araña lobo, una especie de tarántula cuyos refugios en el suelo son muy abundantes en estos montes.


Offline Jesus Contreras

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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2009, 12:04 PM »
Great idea, Lisa!
(With apologies to Jesús) And now for something completely different: tent in the middle of the semi-desert - enjoy the blistering heat and count the scorpions* in yer shoes... :speechless:

*or are they alacranes down there?

Val d'Aran sounds cool  8)

Feelin'-the-cold-up-in-Picos-already-are-we regs.,
Technopat

If you decide to join in Almería, it would be a pleasure for me to prepare some trips for your enjoyment and organize everything for you. Almería is not what it seems to be. Landscape, culture and life are absolutely varied here. Not only desert.

Jesus
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