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Driving over golf courses

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Offline Clive

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« on: May 16, 2007, 23:05 PM »
Hola,

Well Chris Stewart is lending his weight to the cause...

http://theolivepress.es/content/view/489/42/

Please take a look at the Google ads on the side bar...Desert springs golf course in Almeria was up there when i looked at the article. I find it a bit odd to read about natures destruction whilst at the same time being sold "the dream"

Clive
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2007, 23:20 PM »
Greetings Clive and All,
Thanx for that link - interesting read.

Re: ads - Welcome to the world of big business >:D

While we're on the environmental issues thread, the same issue of The Olive Press has another humdinger on illegal substances:
http://theolivepress.es/content/view/485/42/

Trouble is, these guys always get out on bail - I wonder whether the money comes from - his party funds or from under his mattress. :-X

Disgusted regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 01:39 AM by 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 lisa

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 07:41 AM »
Good for him.

From the BBC last weekend http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6647443.stm

"Now expats who live in Spain are entering the choppy waters of local politics en masse.

In the run-up to the 27 May elections, a number of local parties are dominated by expats and more than 300,000 European residents in Spain have registered to cast their ballots.

This could be the beginning of something of an expat political revolution."

Hope they're "green"  :-\

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 11:53 AM »
Greetings All,
In answer to Lisa's  :-\, my own informal, ongoing poll (i.e. not just in the run-up to these elections), suggests that whatever the true colour (red, blue or white green) of the sizeable expat community, most of them do have a strong dislike of the Ib. Pen.'s gold courses - and by extension, the criminal construction industry - and are much more aware of such mind-boggling-ness when living abroad than possibly they would have been back 'ome. Which in turn leads them to vote for options they might otherwise not consider. This phenomenon already exists among Spaniards, i.e. some/many will vote for one party in the locals and for another in the autonómicas and/or general.
Whether greater awareness is something that leads to action, is of course a matter for another type of forum.
While on the subject: one man, sorry, person, one vote in cases such as the expat vote is more than relative, of course - the value of my vote here in the capital is insignificant in comparison to that of expats living in smaller, rural areas who can have more of a say in what goes down in their (your) neck of the woods. In real life, of course, the local thug building contractor plays the game whichever way he chooses, but at least ... :-\ :-\

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 19:44 PM by 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 #4 on: May 20, 2007, 23:23 PM »
Greetings All,
Was going to start new thread for Gold/Golf courses in Spain, but this one that Clive started is as good a place as any for tonight's rant.

What follows is the result of a desperate need I came across this weekend when I discovered, as on so many other occasions in the past, that my debating skills were/are seriously flawed when arguing with the indigenous folk - have never been able to perfect that table-thumping movement they all learn at the mother's knee. Although the old 12-bore (sawn-off?) on the table in front of me would possibly be more effective, Mrs Technopat would certainly look askance at me if I were to introduce it as a point d'appui sorry, punto de apoyo.

We iberianature forumers have over the past few months touched upon the ecologically incorrect issue of the over-construction of gold courses in this country - surprisingly enough, very often in regions of the country where water is, or soon will be, a seriously-threatened resource - but nowhere have we broached the matter from a formally analytical viewpoint, as we have done with hunting and evolution, for instance.  And I, for one, need the moral support and/or thoughtful feedback from an ongoing thread on this issue, to which I offer myself, as always, to take up residence as the Devil's Avocado  >:D.

I think I mentioned elsewhere the possible construction of a gold course in "my" village. This weekend I was told that it had definitely been approved - funnily enough, just before the elections  :-X - and that land movement was now under way for the houses that will look out over the lush greens (province of Toledo - that dry-looking bit to the southwest of Madrid that you see in the satellite shot). I subsequently wasted almost 2 hours of my valuable time trying to make the family who live there, comprising 15 adults, with more kids as fascinated onlookers ('cos the guiri hardly ever gets involved in the habitual arguments at sobremesa which tend to be of a footballish nature and/or criticising immigrants), see the inconveniences of the whole scheme. While all you iberianature lovers were out there enjoying nature and smelling the lurid coloured whatchamacall 'ems and trying to avoid stepping on wolf/badger scats and/or cowpats, muggins 'ere was at the receiving end of yet another humiliating defeat.

I raised the ecological aspects, fundamentally water-based, (my father-in-law waters his lawn twice a day during summer  >:(>:( and won't listen to reason (have in the past toyed with the idea of sabotaging the timer, but whenever he decides to use the hose, he wastes even more water), but also including the additional traffic-related problems (they all complain 'bout the ever increasing amount of cars here). Mentioned that gold courses were typical promoters' scams to get free or cheap land out of local cash-stricken councils, using the typical modern-day charlatan's carrot of new jobs. However, I wasn't even able to sew the tiniest seeds of doubt in their minds. They just don't see any drawbacks whatsoever. Least of all ecological:
Them: "That's why they've chosen a place near the river."
Me: "Don't you remember the water restrictions a couple of summers back - river reduced to a trickle?"
Them: " 'Politics' - the neighbouring council has more sway with the water federation".

All they can see is more jobs, more revenue from taxes, and great publicity for the village (TV coverage for the Escalona Open? Golf venue for the Madrid 2016 Olympics?). It's almost as if they really believe it will directly and magically benefit them  ???, even though they personally are not involved in any way in any aspect of the thing (i.e., I could understand their interest if they were after the concession for whatever).

The bottom line is: what arguments can I use to create the need for they themselves to oppose this ludicrousness - to make them realise the need to take action?

I realise that all this might appear to verge on the NIMBYish, but even though I don't actually live there, I'm seriously worried 'bout the overall consequences of the thing.

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
It's just occurred to me that if the gold course goes ahead, it would stir up quite a hornet's nest if I could get the local yobbos (today's generation rides quads) to go rallying on the greens at night. Nabbing 2 birds with 1 stone? 8)

Pps.
The above occurrence lends a new perspective to Clive's title for this thread ;D
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 16:39 PM by 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 #5 on: June 29, 2007, 13:28 PM »
Right folks,

Time for the 'Shroomey Squad to get off its laurels. I'd like to be able to hand over the baton as Squad Leader at the end of the year with at least one constructive and effective action carried out and a pro-active action plan approved for the following year.  8)

Am fully aware that, in comparison with more serious issues dealt with on other iberianatureforum boards, such as hunting, the gold course issue has low priority, but I reckon it's one which we can get to grips with in our modest way and lobby English-speaking visitors to the forum. Our Great and Wise Adminstrators have the mindless (mind-blowin' ?) stats. and I'm sure that loads of people (non-iberianatureforumers) outside of Spain are clicking in to check things out before coming over in hordes to get roasted on the beaches and/or gold courses.

So it's up to us to make sure that the simple, easy-to-understand message gets across to them that Spain, due to its unique geographical position is in no position to absorb the 318 gold courses projected (200 of them in Andalusia alone!)

Greenpeace presented their report yesterday (here's the press release - which has an internal link to the actual report).

Feedback, anyone?

I was thinking along the lines of a petition we could set up to get signatures to send to the EU or wherever - The Olive Press, etc. (even to the national press - both in Spain & the UK).

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 lisa

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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 14:56 PM »
Petition...that rings a bell  :lighttbulb:
Technopat, if you're serious (which I think you are) getting a petition started is the easy bit, it's getting people to sign it that can be frustrating  :banghead:
Don't forget that if Spain continues with it's wanton will to cover the country with greens and bunkers there'd be no room left for hunting apart from maybe the odd mole - and then that would be poisoned.
Presumably Greenpeace Spain will keep this at a national level, so an international petition with an accompanying letter could be sent to the EU environment minister aswell as the Spanish.
Here you go - The Petition Site
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2007, 22:12 PM »
Greetings All,
Lisa, thanx for your feedback on that one. You are indirectly responsible for the following musings (i.e. my Muse :) ) on how to get more people to sign petitions - but don't worry, I'll take the full blame for it when our Great and Wise Administrators freak out. It's part 'n' parcel of the Technopat macho image. :dancing:

OK. When logging on earlier this afternoon/evening - a long time ago - and before getting side-tracked by one of Nick's famous iberianature forum tangents , I had intented to post the following ramble for your consideration and feedback. It's probably my longest posting to date so apologies in advance.

Haven’t had time to give it as much thought as it warrants, but as t. is of the essence, and a couple of weeks have already gone by since Greenpeace released their report, I reckon getting something off the ground as soon as p. and benefitting from the combined intelligences/creativeness of the iberianatureforumers - and simply ironing out the little wrinkles as we go along - is better than wasting time mulling things over trying to foresee all the hiccoughs that might crop up over time.

The issue at stake, the ludicrous number of existing number of golf courses and the equally ludicrous number planned, while not being as headline-grabbing as some other, more critical nature-threatening issues, such as being down to the last-breeding-pair-of-whatever-endangered species is still hanging on for dear life, is sufficiently asinine and unnecessary to warrant at least a tentative attempt to rationalise things. And as nature is being degraded on so many fronts, any little thing we, here at the iberianatureforum, can do in any area, be it ever so humble, can only help to raise awareness among those who are willing to become aware of what goes on around them.

Some of us have on occasions tried to relativise the importance of certain nature-related issues, finding it hard to get het up ‘bout what others might be worried stiff about, so I think that maybe we could start a specific board for proposed petitions to go under the iberianatureforum banner. The idea is that any thread started under said board, and which after the corresponding debate among iberianatureforumers, attracts a certain number of votes in the internal poll, for instance 20% of registered iberianatureforumers, within 10 days of first being proposed, gets to become an official iberianatureforum petition.

That said, I am quite willing to accept that the iberianatureforum actually serves other purposes than that of a lobby, and is just that, a forum devoted to nature-related issues, and it should therefore be up to individual members to do what they like elsewhere. But I reckon the added value of the credibility of the iberianatureforum will, in time, be able to move mountains. Not that it would occur to any of us iberianatureforumers to do such an un-ecological barbaridad (En. anyone?), given the general abhorrence we have for bulldozers here.

The general idea is that we can make things happen on a global level by doing our bit at a local level. And obviously getting such a petition going needs someone less inclined to waffle and with a capacity to put things more succinctly and concisely than I (not excluding anyone, just thinking here in terms of Dave, SueMac or Lisa at NCO level and/or Clive at powers-that-b. level as they are the ones who usually post short, to-the-point messages).

The following is a draft proposal for your consideration:

Re: golf courses in Spain.

So, what’s the big deal? Apart from the general ongoing debate on climate change and global warming, the matter is that the Iberian Peninsula, that is, Spain, and to a lesser extent, Portugal, is undergoing a severe process of desertification (check source **: UN .......). Yet thanks to their being choice tourist destinations (50 million visitors to Spain in 2006 – check source **: .........) AND, in the case of Spain now being the “market garden of Europe” (check EU source **) they have the highest consumption of water per head (250 litres/person Spain, and ........, Portugal – check source **).

Obviously such absurdly high rates of use of drinking water cannot be sustained for much longer, and Spain is now entering its 3rd successive year of officially declared drought, with many villages in Andalusia, precisely the region most affected by desertification, having water rationing for much of the day during summer - while nearby hotels catering for foreign tourists face no such rationing (check source **: ........). While everyone seems to fret ‘bout quantity of water, personally, I’m much more worried ‘bout quality. Water doesn’t magically disappear – it just goes elsewhere. But it does get dirtier. Dirtier as in more contaminated with non-biodegradable fertilisers and pesticides and the like.

Fruit and vegetables, fine (we won’t go into the amounts of pesticides, etc. used). Tourists and hotels, great. Jobs, albeit seasonal, and profits for the primary and tertiary sectors. As short-term solutions, all very good for the economy. Probably not so good for the ecology. So what combines watering with tourists? Hey, yeah! Golf courses! Spain has now become one of the, if not the top destinations for golf tourism, with some XX golf courses now operating, and according to figures published this week, some ..... more planned over the coming years (check source **:.....). Spain has suddenly become the country with the highest number of golf courses per capita in the world (check source **: ......). In a country where people are not in the least bit interested in the game itself. The market is almost exclusively aimed at foreign visitors. Who come, having paid their money up-front to a firm registered out of the country, spend very little cash here, leave behind a carbon and other, even more visible, traces, oblivious to the reality of the state of the country’s critical water situation.

One of the arguments people use to defend the abundance of greens is that the golf courses have to drill their own wells and supplying themselves with water. As if that there the solution. It might be all very well and good in a country with abundant supplies, but as we have seen, Spain now has serious problems in this regard. Trouble is, of course, that each well using up water for keeping the greens green, means less water available for other uses. So villages that feel threatened by future, nearby golf courses are taking to the streets to demand that their local authorities deny planning permission to the promoters. But local authorities in Spain are so desperate to attract any source of income that they will accept any proposal that anyone is willing to put before them. Hence the excessive number of houses being built (check source **: .........) and the exaggerated number of golf courses projected. Conventional economic wisdom tells us what happens when there is an excessive supply for a limited demand.

Golf is a wonderful game, but apart from any of the ecological matters raised above, playing 18 holes under the blistering Spanish sun (average temperature in July and August: ....... ºC/ ........ºF) is definitely not going to improve anyone’s handicap. And as anyone with a lawn in the UK during the droughts of the 70s/80s (check source **:) will surely remember, there’s an awful lot of water at stake.

The issue is being treated mainly as a local matter, but given its real extent, and the fact that the target group are British golfers, at iberianatureforum we believe it should be treated at national, British and European levels, with the punters themselves choosing destinations in this country other than golf resorts. Iberianatureforum has therefore decided that they would like to do their bit to help the campaign being carried out locally to stop the construction of such a ludicrous amount of golf courses in Spain and appeals to like-minded persons of all nationalities to sign the petition we have set up at The Petition Site. Thank you.

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Jeez! It is long (page 'n' a half of Word)! Hope the server can take it!
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 20:00 PM by 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 lisa

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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 23:29 PM »
it's getting a bit late, I'll read it again and take it in better in the morning but shall I start the petition if you can précis wot you wrote?
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 23:47 PM »
Greetings Lisa,
That was the précis.  :dancing:
« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 01:45 AM by 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 lisa

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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2007, 10:56 AM »
Right. As a start I propose;

Technopat's words (revised with ref's added) as a separate topic fixed or locked or whatever it's called on this board.

A petition (that I can create) with a link in the content to iberianatureforum's said topic for more info.

Petition to be authored/sponsored by iberianatureforum members??

Target - EU Ministry of the Environment??

Not me to promote the petition as I don't want it to detract from mine if you see what I mean. I can provide a list of forums to stick it on. (Did quite a few and this is the only one that I'm faithful to, honest  :sign:

I've had a quick search for a photo to put at the head but don't have much time, thought maybe a google earth pic of part of the coast or a pic of a golf course possibly with dry background!

What does everyone think?


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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2007, 13:21 PM »
Greetings Lisa,
First of all: Thanx for going through it all - def. over and above what is expected of every English person and those of other nationalities, beliefs and what-have-you.  :dancing:
Agree with each and every one of your proposals. But I'm completely out of my depth here (and though it doesn't quite fit in with the context, it's such a great expression: and up the creek without a paddle (Sp. anyone?).
Hope there's some more feedback on this - with constructive criticism  :technodevil:

Regs.
Technopat
« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 01:46 AM by 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 lisa

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2007, 23:43 PM »
I'm wondering whether the authors of the petition should be named or "the members of iberianatureforum" as a group?
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2007, 23:53 PM »
Greetings Lisa and All,
I personally favour the collective as opposed to the individual. Has that carefully-thought-out, must-have-been-debated and not-on-the-spur-of-the-moment-whim ring to it.
But then again, my opinion is biased, so over to "the members of iberianatureforum"  8)
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

Simon

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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2007, 18:31 PM »
Greetings all,

Sorry to have been out of the loop on this one - I came to the post late and have been catching up. This takes time with old-uns like me.

I'm all for petitions and will def.sign up as and when. But I also think direct, personal action has a place (I really like you suggestion about the quads TP - there's got to be some use for them! I also have a rather personal anecdote about a certain motorbike and sidecar and the preseves of the privilidged classes, but that had better remain offline!!!) Meanwhile, I have a few ideas to feed an article for the Britabroad press, outlining some of the environmental issues of overdevelopment, including gokld courses, and linking it to the potentioal meltdown of the Spanish property market (see BBVA report on prices out this week - I've just tried to find the link on Google but failed, that's probabaly my fault!).

Must dash now - got an appointment at the hairdresser, luvvies!

Ciao

Simon

Offline lisa

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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2007, 23:51 PM »
Director - Technopat.

Promoter - Lisa.

Author - Simon.


 :sign:
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2007, 13:12 PM »
Greetings Lisa, Simon and All,
Maybe the following is the BBVA report you were looking for (not got time right now to check it out myself - huge backlog of iberianatureforum posts/postings work to catch up with).
http://serviciodeestudios.bbva.com/TLBB/fbin/SIES_0707_SituacionInmobiliaria_22_eng_tcm208-100125.pdf

which is available along with other (English-language) BBVA studies at http://serviciodeestudios.bbva.com/TLBB/tlbb/jsp/sve/europa/espana/pubsect/siinm/index.jsp

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 #17 on: August 03, 2007, 19:36 PM »
Greetings All,
Hot off The Olive Press:
This is the kind of thing we're up against here - and y'all think I'm paranoid. Correct me if I'm wrong, those of you who've been here for a while, but I think only one judge has been impeached and another two indicted in Spain (one of 'em recently in Marbella) since Franco died. Not sure how that compares with other countries (though as a mindless stat., I reckon it stinks), but it hardly matters.
Gold courses, along with pseudo-luxury developments, are symptomatic of a general trend which takes the odd bear or wolf or lynx or home here and there in its stride, or at best, as an occupational hazard.
Angry 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

Simon

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« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2007, 06:07 AM »
Hi Techno and all,

This doesn't surprise me at all!

Yours saddened, Simon  :(

Offline lisa

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« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2007, 09:01 AM »
".... decision could always be reversed." Yeah, really.

(Warning petition on it's way...)
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