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IberiaNature Forum Picos de Europa Summit

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Offline lisa

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« on: November 13, 2007, 14:48 PM »
I do hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone but we've changed the dates for the Iberianature Forum Summit, Picos de Europa. Various reasons include;
the beauty of the Picos in spring,
availability of Teresa Farino for a guided botanical day out,
once a year probably best for all financially,
and, last but not least, lots more options of places to visit and species to see!

So, from Thursday the 30th of April to Monday the 11th of May, 2009!.

Getting here;
Nearest airport - Santander (from U.K. Ryanair), slightly further are Asturias (Oviedo) and Bilbao, Euskadi (both served by Easyjet from U.K.)
Bus from Santander straight to Potes (minimal service, company Palomera) or regular service to Unquera on the coast,(Alsa.)
Unquera is also the nearest railway station. Check out Clive's favourite train websites, The Man in Seat Sixty-One and RENFE.
We'll pick anyone up if needed.

I'm leaving the following blurb up for now, but will soon be adding stuff and itineraries which will include mountain, meadow and coastal botanising, moth-trapping, bat detecting and visits to Paleolithic/Bronze age and Roman remains + caves. Will endeavour to be as organised as Grazalema  8)

Possible things to do in the Picos, starting with the most sedentary and ending with the most daring >:D

Lie in Visit the nearby pre-Romanesque churches, particularly those of the villages of Lebeña and Piasca. Recent history of the church in Lebeña - the virgen was stolen....and recovered! The doorstep was lifted during some reformation work and painted Celtic engravings discovered underneath. It's now on view in the nave. Please don't ask me about dates. Figures just don't stay in my head, apart from the height of the San Glorio pass  :speechless:

Play Scrabble on the balcony in the sun Pop down to the Picos de Europa National Park's visitors interpretation centre (Sotama). Worth a visit even if from the outside it looks like a gigantic matchbox.

Short walks around the villages of Liébana (the combined name of the three main valleys of Camaleño, Pesaguero and La Vega). From the house you can walk around the nearby Bedoya valley with it's well-kept vegetable patches, interesting architecture and great views of the eastern massif.

'Shrooming! Go foraging for fungi and come back home to experiment with recipes if species unanimously agreed on  >:D

Cheese tasting. There are now a myriad of cheeses made in Liébana, not just queso Picón (strong blue). Cow's, sheep and goat cheeses and any combination of the three. Excellent!

While I'm on eating, our neighbours make the best honey and, I discovered. orujo (firewater). Probably have a crack factory around the back....

Birds. The summer visitors will be arriving. So, from just sitting on the balcony - that reminds me of one of our guests who, on arrival, set up his scope while being offered tea and stayed there more or less for the rest of his stay. When Mike took his tea up and asked if he'd like sugar he reeled off the birds he'd seen in those ten minutes it'd taken to make it. Twitchers....love 'em. Anyway, here are some birds that I think could be around;
Black redstart
Common redstart
House sparrow
White wagtail
Various LBJ's (Help appreciated here!)
Great and Middle spotted woodpecker
Wryneck
Black woodpecker (contact Jules at Oliva Rama Tours for info.)
Tawny, Barn, Eagle and Scops owls
and the first Egyptian vultures should be arriving.
Slightly further afield;
Wallcreeper
Alpine accentor
Snow finch
Alpine and Common chough
Capercaillie
Golden eagle
Griffon vulture
And, if all goes well next spring, Lammergeier. Three are due to be released in the Duje valley of the Picos. A lift up in the cable car will get us close.

All you birders will know better than me what we have around.

Walks;
Anything from an amble up the road to the hamlet before the road ends (20 min's) to summiting a peak with Mike.
Nature Walks;
Fairly gentle strolls through woods, Pine, Beech, Holm and Pyrenean oaks. Sure to see signs of Wild boar, Red and Roe deer, if not the actual animals themselves, and possibly the odd Red squirrel. (I keep meaning to post up some photos of what looks to me like Roe stag scratchings on a birch....)
Now we're getting close  >:D
Definite trip up to the San Glorio pass from where we could walk into the Valle del Naranco - bear and wolf territory! See page 3. This is also where Mike saw the recent remains of a wolf kill. Good time of year I reckon for this. I'd be up for staying the night out too for a better chance of an actual sighting, about as extreme as I get. Actually I've got another itinerary up my sleeve. Female Cantabrian brown bear been breeding lately in Liébana! Keeping fairly schtoom for now  :-X

Mountain biking;
Our bikes could be borrowed or I could go if not too much uphill (thighs might be more accustomed by then though). Mike up for anything more strenuous. Vehicule support.

Climbing;
If you must, Mike's always ready to go but is not a climbing guide, rather, an enthusiastic partner.

Accommodation;
first come, first rooms reserved. No camping but should have enough beds for all (might be some sharing involved for same sex singles.)
Bad news is (and I don't feel happy about this but it's been forced on me) we'll have to make a small charge per person to cover food - €20 each per night.
Children and pets very welcome as long as they don't bite...and free.
Food - breakfasts and dinners at the house, picnics for days out in the field.
All food and drink will be provided.
Bring your own bins, walking boots and sun-cream!


So, suggestions and comments also welcome and I'll post any definites on a list here and add anything else if and when it occurs to me.
 
                                         People coming to the Picos

                                       Sue and Clive - staying the whole time wherever they fit  :) or not  ::)
                                                               Glennie and Elena
                                                   Technopat and a certian number of family
                                                                    Lucy
                                                            Dave and Maria
                                                                    Nick
                                                                   Tree
                                               
                                   

                                             Excursions;

                           Friday the 1st of May - Dependant on weather, mystery tour planned. Clue - at altitude  :)

               Saturday the 2nd of May - Day out with Teresa Farino discovering orchids and butterflies and anything else that pops up.
                                                                  Slideshow in evening.

                                                            Fri. p.m./Sat. a.m. - Moth trapping.

                         
        Sat/Sunday - Bat detecting evening/night followed by a day out with local ornithologist Isidoro Fombellida (dependant on his availability).
                                                 

  From then onwards, we'll play it by ear (Sp. anyone?) depending on the weather, how the spring has progressed and who's here. It'll be interesting to see how many of our
                                                               favourite places we can fit in..........................
                                                 Conditions are pointing to another spectacular spring.
                                                                                 :)



« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 11:15 AM by lisa »
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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 11:52 AM »
Greetings Lisa and All,
Of course if the Picos Fraction were to include bear and wolf excursions in their programme ...  :dancing:

There's nothing like the thrill of the hunt  >:D (as opposed to back-breaking another-stone-on-the-wall-like activities ...).

Bated*-breath regs.,
Technopat

*as opposed to baited traps
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 PeterJ

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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2007, 20:42 PM »
Hi Lisa,

Be good to have dates and a few ideas. I would certainly be interested as I have never been to the Picos!

 :dancing:

Peter
www.spanishbirds.com

Offline Clive

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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2007, 21:17 PM »
It is incredible at Casa Gustavo.... And the Picos are Ok as well :)

See you there in October...

(A mouse told me that there is a possibility of a guided tour and lecture by one of the best botanists in the area) Shhh it's a secret!

:)
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2007, 21:54 PM »
The best, please Clive. Dates and possible excursions should be up this weekend.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
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Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2007, 09:32 AM »
HI Lisa
We're still waiting, with anticipation.  :clapping:
Tony

Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2007, 09:52 AM »
Hi Lisa..

Can you edit your first post and add all the details there please... That way as people say they are coming or you add activities they will all be in one place....

Clive

:)
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2007, 08:55 AM »
Started  ::)
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline lisa

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« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2007, 14:04 PM »
Dates and possible excursions now up  :biggrin:
Let me know what you think but no rush. We're off on the big boat next week to check out the price of fish and chips. Back for Reyes.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 14:11 PM by lisa »
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline lisa

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« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2007, 15:00 PM »
Forgot to add that I just couldn't get dates to coincide with Teresa being around unless anyone that would like to meet her here could hang around 'til the 10th/11th. A spot of moth-trapping would then be poss. if the nights aren't too cold.
Anyone got a bat detector?
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2007, 09:32 AM »
Hi Lisa
It all sounds very interesting and we would really like to come for about 5 days.  Unfortuantely I think that the full period would be too long away from home and our responsbilities here.  Christine, however is disabled and needs crutches to walk - would you have a ground floor or easiy accessible first floor room ?  What is the weather like at the start of November ?  Don't worry - I won't start rushing around without clothes if the sun comes out !!

Would have like to have gone to the earlier summit, but we will have only just got back from celebrating our Ruby in Majorca.

Offline Clive

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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2007, 10:21 AM »
Count us in as well Lisa, we'll sleep anywhere..

The nominal fee of 15 per person is absolutely fine, please don't feel bad about it... After all we will be taking over your guest house....

How easy is it to organise a walk down from fuente De ? I wondered if we could go up in the cable car and those who wanted to mooch around and go back down could and those who wanted to walk down could.. (Its about 15 K isn't it?) Would need transport at the other end to get back to your centrally heated place...... Also is there snow up there in November?

Clive
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Offline Dave

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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2007, 10:27 AM »
Hi Lisa and all
Maria and I would also be interested, will confirm nearer the time, if numbers become too many we may be able to stay at Santa Marina de Valdeon (my nephews place).
Regards
Dave

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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2007, 10:40 AM »
Money not a problem. I echo Clive's words.

Hope I can make it. Never been to Northern Spain in autumn
Nick
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2007, 15:15 PM »
Hi All,
Tony, I've done the same as Sue and Clive and made it over a couple of weeks so that people can come as and when they can. I'll reserve you a ground floor room next to the front door when you can give me dates. Will personally see to it that the weather is not too warm  :santa_shocked:

Sue and Clive, will you be able to manage the whole period? With two vehicules we can easily do Fuente De, leaving one in Espinama on the way. Did I say we have a nine-seater van + car? Know a nice route off-piste, via pasture, barns and down through woods. (Almost certain to see isard rebeco.) Snow not likely beginning of Nov.

Dave, I'd reserve you both a nice room!

Nick, hope you can make it but I know it's a long way off yet.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2007, 18:53 PM »
Hi Lisa
Thanks for that.  I will speak to 'er indoors about the dates that we would like to come.  :santa_kiss:
Tony

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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2007, 20:13 PM »
I hope I can come too. Casa Gustavo and its location look fabulous.  I’ve always wanted to go up north in Autumn, and this sounds like a perfect opportunity.   I notice barn and eagle owls on your list, Lisa.  How about a night excursion to find them? Or maybe it would be enough just to sit on your balcony!

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2007, 08:31 AM »
Greetings Lisa,
Took for granted that I'd responded to this one and just discovered I hadn't. Too early for me to confirm dates (such technicalities don't depend on me) but would love to pop up. If you're fully booked coinciding with dates I can make it, I might be able to arrange alternative lodging nearby for self and loved ones.
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 #18 on: December 17, 2007, 21:06 PM »
Hello Froomies!  :santa_afro:
just quickly while my head's buzzing with books, beavers and basura - I'll check my sources re the Eagle owls Lucy, but shouldn't have far to go fingers crossed.
Tp, do hope there'll be room at the inn for the Madrid fraction.
Provisional bookings by pm or email everyone please.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline Ian

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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2008, 16:05 PM »
Hi Lisa

Thanks for the invite on the welcome section. We are not too far from you here in Asturias and will probably try and come along and meet a few of you but this might be on a couple of day visits. Not too sure what we could contribute on the nature side of things......you all seem so knowledgeable  :speechless: however, we are keen to know more about our environment and are keen walkers.  Luis (my partner) is a Spanish national from the Palencia area and has a keen interest in pre-romanesque architecture. We both restore traditional rush seating and bergere cane work, Luis has recently learnt how to make traditional willow/hazel baskets......we would happily demonstrate one of these crafts if anyone was interested?  Is the first set of summits? (sorry still on a learning curve here)......is so what prompted them?