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Summer Adeventure

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Offline Jonathan01

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« on: February 10, 2010, 16:59 PM »
Hello everyone, Its been a very long time since Ive commented on here, starting Uni etc has swamped me.
This summer I am hoping to do some travelling as I should have a couple of months off on holiday. I might have some work in the French Pyrenees, and I was thinking that after that I would travel down toh Spain, trying to hit 200species (birds) on the way, before meeting my Dad in Tarifa or something. I am thinking about having 5 or 6 bases in the south and travelling between them to good birding sites solo.

Would this be possible for a 19 year old to do ? (safety etc) I can speak spanish quite well .
I was also wondering if anyone would know if there is any law about camping in "no mans land" so to speak or if campsites, hostels , owners permission are needed.  sorry if this is  abit wooly   if anyone has an ideas that could help me in anyway id be more that grateful! thanks Johny.  :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 17:27 PM by Jonathan01 »
As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.

Offline lisa

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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 13:40 PM »
Hi Jonathan, I think you'll be perfectly safe. Re camping, don't tell anyone but if you choose your spot carefully and set up camp late and pack up early with no fires, who's to know?
Have a great time!  8)
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2010, 09:22 AM »
Hi Jonathan,

If you fancied popping over to the Catalan side of the Pyrenees, specifcally the Pre-Pyrenees, during your summer skive research project  >:D you might try to add something to our bird list! You can download a pdf version on my Maps and Guides page.

About the camping. This is an issue that seems to crop up every year and I've never seen a definitive solution, i.e. some law on the statute books! Meanwhile the best summary I've seen was made up by some adventurous bikers, like me  :dancing:, as follows:

"Camping outside campsites is legal but with certain restrictions. You're not allowed to camp in urban areas, areas prohibited for military or touristic reasons, or within 1km of an official campsite. For example, you can't camp on touristic beaches, but you can nearby if you're discreet. Camping for a short period is allowed almost anywhere in the countryside, but where you can, you should ask first.]Camping outside campsites is legal but with certain restrictions. You're not allowed to camp in urban areas, areas prohibited for military or touristic reasons, or within 1km of an official campsite. For example, you can't camp on touristic beaches, but you can nearby if you're discreet. Camping for a short period is allowed almost anywhere in the countryside, but where you can, you should ask first."

Most people I know say, 'Yes', you can camp anywhere that doesn't have a restriction as long as it's striclty just an overnight stop, and I wonder whether the urban myth of the machine gun toting Guardia Civil knocking up innocent travellers in the small hours is actually people misunderstanding a polite but firm reminder of this by the officers of the law. A combination of language skills issues and culture shock, espcially among Brits aren't used to seeing armed police officers 'tooled up' - outside of a UK airport that is!  :speechless: In such circumstaces 'bivouac' is the key word, which has penetrated further into Spanish as 2.vivac 3.vivaque 4.vivaquear I also wonder whether folks with converted campers make it worse by getting off te beate track - it's easy for them to be mistaken for burglars sizing up rural properties, which are a special lookout for night patrols - with good reason at least in Catalonia, where there are waves of robberies every summer or so it seems!

On to specifics, if you did want to explore our area one excellent place to free camp is in the grounds of the railway station at Cellers. The station itself is an auberge catering mainly for rock climbers and cavers who flock to the nearby Congost de Terradets in droves. So you get a) security of a sort as there are people out and about - so you can leave your tent up during the day b) a good, cheap cooked food on your doorstep - and an excellent restaurant just down the road - c) you can get there by train, which is always a good thing (and bring a bycycle with you) d) you have plenty of good company of you want it - although being climber they're quite mad of course! oh and e) it's right by the Pantano (reservoir) de Cellers, which being silted up is never left to drain and has lots of wetland habitat around the margin.

While I'm at it I might as well plug one of my favourite camp sites where if you wake up early (more on 'youth' below!) and stick you head out of the tent the chances are you'll have a hoopoe looking back at you. furthermore, if you tiptoe across the field to the riverbank for the first pee-pee of the day (more on crapulous old age below!) you'll very likely to see the heron!

About being nineteen - well it's a filthy job by by George someone's got to do it! I thnk you're only trouble will be getting up in the morning without someone there telling to "Get out of bed!" Enjoy -  old age will soon enough have you lurking around in the cold morning dew, wondering what to do for the next two hours before the cafe opens - they don't call them the wee-wee hours for nothing!

Regs

Simon
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 14:15 PM by Simon »

Offline Jonathan1

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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2010, 14:40 PM »
Hey its me again, my old account password kept failing so Im sorry for a late reply, Thankyou Lisa! Indeed if nobody sees it should be fine ; ) . 

Simon, I never thought about birding in that area, but Im really going to look into it as I have heard its pretty good! I am of course up to the challenge of adding to the already impressive list!  thank you for your information on camping etc, I shall learn how to set up a tent and go for that option.  As I before mentioned, I might be working in the French Pyreneese doing some guiding work there. I could after easily fly to this area and start the "adventure " there, before moving to the south. Ill obviously have to start looking at my bank account and what Ill be able to do with whats in there and start looking at flights etc.

thanks again for the help both  of you! ill keep in touch on the subject.


regards Johny

Simon

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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2010, 09:06 AM »
Hi Jonhny,

Glad that was helpful/inspiring. I forgot to mention that the local tourism authority, Ara-Lleida, is  promoting birding as a attraction to the area and has a special section on its website - it's in English and, very unusually, is actuauly in good English! The guide details itineraries, habitats, species, etc. and has a fact file for each species that includes locations ad sampes of their song - brilliant in my humble O!

If you are new to camping and need kit I recommend Taunton Lesiure, as well as having severa actual branches in the West Country it is an excellent on-line shop: very personal service, etc. and they have a clearance sale for tents at present  :dancing:

If you are an absolute beginner this forum may be helpful, just steer clear of the caravan, mobile home contingent*!

Regs

Simon

* I've already done this by selecting the 'Under Canvas' sub-forum!


Offline Jonathan1

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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 11:48 AM »
Thankyou to everyone for the information etc :)

Offline ladena

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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010, 13:39 PM »
Hi Johny

If you are going to be around the Lleida area it would be a shame to miss birding sites on and around the River Ebro/ Ebro Delta as you head south. Should definitely help towards your 200 bird target!  See Steve Wests site for info and itineraries: http://www.birdinginspain.com/sites-and-itineraries/birding-itineraries-north-east-spain-detailed-map.html

Sounds like you are planning a fun trip! Enjoy!

Dena

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Offline Jonathan1

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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2010, 13:35 PM »
Ah thankyou very much for this :)