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

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Simon

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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2009, 12:08 PM »
Hello Everyone,

Following on from Lucy's link to the fauna, the Friends of Los Monegros site is an excellent revue of all aspcts of the region, definitive almost, it also has many chapters in English.

Back to the nitty-gritty. Teep's timely reminder of the realities of the climate should definitely be taken on board I guess; especially if many folks would have to beg, borrow or steal camping kit then they will be unlikely to arrive well equipped for such a climate! I've been to the site at Caspe that Glennie found. Apart from the fact that being sited at water level makes it a terribe place for the freezing fog to hang around, it's also rather wierd! It's entirely dedicated to the angling community* and as such the whole place is literally crawling with pictures of fish, either black bass or those huge catfish, stuffed fish in display cases, fishy tiles in the loos, even the bar is plastered (sic) with cartoons and humerpous tiles n the subject of, you guessed, fish! As I said - really wierd man!

So maybe we are all heading back to Lisa's monks or some kind of auberge!

Regs

Simon

* Sorry Technopat, but I hate the term 'community' as it reminds me so much of sectarianism, e.g. "Leaders of the Roman Catholic community met in Belfast yester . . .", so we'll have to come up with another non-gender term to replace fraternity, soriety, brotherhood, etc.  >:D

Offline Clive

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« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2009, 20:57 PM »
Hi all,

Ok here is one
http://www.campingfraga.com/index.htm

Ortiñena is just up the road....

It has cabins for people who don't want to camp

As for organised co-ordinated excursiones etc I am actually up for a bit of the opposite in that we all descend on the campsite and follow our noses... Share travellers tales over a beer or three in the bar in the evenings.... Barbecue on one of the parcelas with everyone bringing whatever they want to eat to chuck on the flames.. :) In short a bit of organised chaos... We have had two pretty well organised summits, lets have a more relaxed one with no cheifs and a load of Indians....

The reason I am up for Monegros as a summit location is because I want to see the land where they will build gran scala... The reservoir to the south west of Fraga looks fascinating (mequinenza) and the Sierra de Alcubierre will have a couple of points with good general vistas of Los Monegros...
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

Simon

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« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2009, 11:07 AM »
Hi Guys and Gals,

Fraga looks cool.  In fact it's probably a good job Clive found it as even though I've been searching high and low for a venue I didn't even bother to look there, thinking, like most folks up here, "Fraga? Yeuck!" as it used to be totally dominated by the massive truck traffic passing between Madrid and Barcelona.

But I was there briefly this summer and in fact it's quite nice now it's been by-passed by the Autovia A2.

Moreover, as Clive implies, being handy for the town there's plenty of amenities of the beer and tapas variety! :dancing:

So Fraga gets my vote

Simon

Offline glennie

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« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2009, 12:18 PM »
Fraga looks good.  :)


Offline lisa

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« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2009, 11:32 AM »
Thankyou Jesus. I'd certainly like to visit your area but I think we should all see Los Monegros before it's destroyed for ever. How about 2011? That would give you plenty of time for thinking of things for us to do.
Meanwhile, I've found some routes from Sekano. One involves what sounds like the perfect iberianature forum activity of rescuing amphibians from drowning in irrigation tanks  8)
Think I'll skip dipping my toes in the Ebro though  :o

I'd been trying to avoid Fraga as it brings back memories of searching for a place to stay within our price range. Campsite was shut. Still, we ended up camping wild (don't tell anyone) and had a great night with a vixen. Tent plots, chalets for the woosies, a bar, what more could we want? April/May? I hope to be able to manage a week. Would Easter hol's be too early? There surely wouldn't be too many mad dogs and locals camping then.
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2009, 12:27 PM »
When exactly are the Easter holidays?  Won't the camp site be full at Easter?

Could someone a bit nearer give them a call and find out opening hours, number of cabins and pre booking set up etc?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 12:29 PM by Clive »
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Offline ladena

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« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2009, 23:16 PM »
Hi all

 Easter 2010: Good Friday April 2, Easter Monday April 5

Must admit the campsite at Fraga came as a bit of a surprise to me too. But actually it looks pretty good on their website. Fraga is only about 60km from Mora d'Ebre so I'd be up for joining you up there providing our bookings and other stuff permit. Easter weekend can be unpredictable for arrivals/departures.

I'd be happy to go up and give it the once over if you like but I'm mad busy for the next 10days or so  (hubby away and a flurry of last minute bookings).

Lisa - thanks for the video link about the Siluros! As much as we work very hard to attract birders/walkers etc it has to be said that these monsters are still the attraction for a large percentage of our guests.  They are not the handsomest of fish though are they?  Photo attached of a happy customer
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Simon

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« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2009, 18:04 PM »
Er, I thought we had already decided on the puente de mayo  ??? - this year's Easter dates would definitely be too cold up there!

Regs

Simon

Offline Clive

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« Reply #48 on: October 12, 2009, 19:38 PM »
Nothing written in stone Simon....

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

Easter hols starting April 1st ?

Fraga campsite allows pets so you can keep a husky down your sleeping bag Simon? :) I figure it will be cold at the beginning and the end of April? Me, I'm not so bothered and I'll pack thermals and flip flops....

@Ladena... Yes that would be great if you could visit the campsite...

People will need to make their own arrangements for booking the cabins....
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

Simon

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« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2009, 07:04 AM »
I've sold the mororbike-sidecar combination, so just let me know your patent way of training a husky to ride pillion Clive  >:D - and before you suggest it, towing is illegal in Spain!

Seriously, there is a difference between the beginning and the end of April as the 'April showers' fall as snow on the Pyrenees and there is a  knock-on effect in air temperature. It might still be cold at the end of the month, if there is a north wind for instance, but aiming for early April strikes me as courting disaster! There is also the small matter of the nature stuff - spring is early in Grazalema after all!

Regs

Simon

Offline Clive

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« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2009, 13:47 PM »
So who is up for Fraga campsite starting Thursday 28th April 2010?

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 Tree

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« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2009, 16:14 PM »
I've only just joined this discussion, having been prompted by the recent email from Nick & Clive, and I hate to be a wet blanket, but at the end of April in Monegros it could still be the middle of winter.  Not worried about the cold, mind, but the lack of anything in flower, buzzing about, etc., although the birds should be OK.  Depends so much on the season, I suppose, so if it looks like the winter's going to go on and on, might have to have a rethink...

I used to run a tour that followed the Ebro from source to sea (and some years vice versa), and we aimed to be in Belchite (not that far away) around 20 May, by which time it was brilliant!

That said, the dates suit me fine (providing I can find someone to look after adolescent son)...

Tree

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Offline glennie

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« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2009, 23:14 PM »
That 'nothing yet in bloom or buzzing flight' issue has also crossed my mind now and again recently.
Thing is, there weren't really any other dates. ...

Worth going further south for same dates?  Somewhere like Almeria? (Sorry to throw spanner in the works.)




Simon

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« Reply #53 on: November 21, 2009, 12:04 PM »
Hi Tree, Glennie, et al,

Glennie has pipped me to the post here on the timing issue! We have had a lot of discussion on this earlier in the topic, but to summarize for Tree and anyone else new to it; the problem is threefold:

a) what isloosely termed The Madrid Fraction, e.g. Glennie and Technopat, are limited to puente* weekends as they are more gainfully employed than the rest of us  >:D

b) the guys involved in the holiday business, e.g. Lisa and Clive, who are well into their season from the beginning May onwards and have difficulty getting away later in the spring, expecially at weekends

C) finally the Catalonia Chapter, e.g. Nick and Lucy** who are pretty much self employed and can be flexible with their time, as long as they don't loose too much of it, in this case downtime due to long distance travel

I too shared the concern about being too early for the springtime/flowers in the Monegros but I'm glad that this has been seconded by a second, almost certainly more expert, opinion!

Since the last postings I've also gotten worried about the noise factor in the Fraga campsite as it seems rather close to the Autopista A2, which has heavy traffic 24/7. But I may be visiting Fraga early in the new year so I could check this before we all commit ourselves.

So it looks like the venue is up for grabs again! I take on Glennie's suggestion, but I wonder if Almeria is too far away for those of us in t'north!

Regs

Simon


* for non-speakers that's public holiday weekends, ideally those that extend a bit if they fall on, say a Tuesday these guys get a long weekend, hence the term puente = 'bridge'. Furthermore, 2010 is a really bad year for puentes.

** I was going to add myself to this category, but as I'm involved in the holiday business myself I'm probably the worst culprit of all as I'm at times a category 'a', a category 'b' and, as I too can only support so much downtime too, a category 'c' inmate!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 12:10 PM by Simon »

Offline glennie

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« Reply #54 on: November 21, 2009, 21:47 PM »
Valencia might suit many. Doesn't it have some very attractive mountainous regions that would be more likely to be in bloom at the beginning of May?

Any experts on the area out there?

Offline glennie

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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2009, 16:23 PM »
Checking in Teresa's book....

What about the north of Valencia for the Ports de Beseit (Tarragona province) and Ports de Morella (Valencia)?

Camping at La Tinenca:
http://www.guiacampingfecc.com/castello/la.tinen%C3%A7a.moli.l.abad/

What is the likelihood of our seeing more in the way of plants and insects in this neck of the woods at the time of the year we are thinking of going?




Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2009, 19:31 PM »
Glennie, the Ports de Beseit are the Els Ports Natural Park in which we live, and certainly at the end of April the flora and fauna are waking up and starting to put on their show, weather permitting.

That area would also encompass the Ebro Delta where the birders could have a great day out, and for the history buffs the poble vieja of Corbera d'Ebre has remained as a bombed out village in tribute to those who fell in the Civil War (an interesting half day out).

I personally don't know of any camping sites in this area but there is an apartment complex at Riomar on the Delta who might well consider giving a deal to the Forummers at that time of the year.

I would offer to do a recce and see what I could set up but at the present time my days are completely occupied with any work I can get hold of to see us through this recession, our holiday bookings having been given a huge knock back last year.

Don't know if there is anyone else in the area who would take up the challenge.

Tony

Offline Clive

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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2009, 19:36 PM »
Just a quick reminder......

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I've had a thought. How about using our number to help eco-tourism ideals in an area that needs this kind of boost? I'm thinking Los Monegros but there are more that just don't spring to mind before my second coffee. If time of year could be agreed, for camping, Spain is our oyster! I imagine us chatting to locals, asking about the nature in their area................


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I like the idea of exploring Los Monegros, instead of just passing through, which is what everyone does.  

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I like Lisa's idea of going somewhere that is "threatened".....
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I spent a year or so in Zaragoza and I love the light and openness of the Monegros.

This webpage is an excellent review of the area's natural history:

http://idd004kb.eresmas.net/monegros/

Wildlife and weather aside I liked Lisa's suggestion to visit a place under "Threat"... I am also sure that our new member from that area will know of many places of interest regardless of time of year and would be of great help..... I think before we start searching for other locations we should see what information we can get
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 19:39 PM by Clive »
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Offline glennie

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« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2009, 19:53 PM »
Fair point Clive.

Thing is, though, seeing lovely plants in bloom contributed enormously to the richness of Picos. It would be a pity to find ourselves in an area with very little in bloom.

Maybe others can give their opinions.

Offline David Bowyer

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« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2009, 17:00 PM »
From looking at the comments on this issue, agreeing on a theme, venue and dates for such an event might be made easier if there were clear objectives and event follow-up. Los Monegros has been mentioned several times both as a great location but also as an area supposedly under threat. Los Monegros is a comarca of the region of Aragon and decisions that affect the area at both municipial provincial and regionial level are taken in Zaragoza. Los Monegros as a venue for 2010 offers an opportunity to visit an area that is undergoing a process of change, for better or worse, meet people, politicians, businesses, environmental groups, farmers, developers and see first hand how things stand.

Theme: Ongoing development in Los Monegros, threat or enticement?
Venue: Zaragoza and Los Monegros
Dates: Early May

Anyone interested?

David.

Aragon Birding....developing rural tourism in Aragon through birdwatching.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 09:12 AM by David Bowyer »
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