Valley of Benasque

A couple of weeks ago I was in the Valley of Benasque (Huesca, Spain), for some trekking, and just had some time to upload the photos, so here they are for your pleasure, since it is a very nice place. It was the first time I was there not in winter, so had the chance to visit some places that, in winter, are almost impossible to visit (unless you want to take the risk of an avalanche).

Specially nice was the Glacier of the Aneto peak, the highest peak in the Pyrenees (from the distance, we didn’t have time to get to the top, since it takes many, many hours):

Also nice to see was the water from the Glacier disappearing into the rocks (and appearing again, by magic, in the Valley of Arán, on the other side of the mountains):

I took more photos, so go here to see the rest.

Places of Power: Artajona

One of the late nights at last GUADEC, talking with Quim about mountains and nice landscapes, he talked about Montserrat and the feelings he had there. It is, from what I’ve heard, what some people call places of power (lugares de poder in Spanish, which I translated to English from), which are places that, for some reason, make you have feelings impossible to have in other normal places. Some people would call it God, others energy, and others, simply, Nature, but the truth is that they usually are spectacular places.

Another coincident characteristic of these places (at least the ones in Western Europe) is that, in some of them, there is (or was) a megalithic monument (maybe because the Neolithic people catched the magic of the places and decided to build their monuments there, who knows). And that’s the case for Artajona, in the middle of the way from my place to Pamplona. Most people would visit Artajona to see the medieval remains of the town, very spectacular:

But the real beauty is 4 kms away from the town, where there are 2 dolmens:

They are not very spectacular, but what is indeed awesome are the views you can see from the hills where the dolmens are:

I didn’t feel any mystic energy or magic 🙂 but I was really impressed by the place, quite beautiful and, being alone there, quite relaxing.

More photos here.


#2 in the ‘photos I’ve been taking recently’ series, this time about Yerga, a few kms away from my house, in La Rioja (yeah, where they do the famous wine). It is a place with some peaks and, fortunately, some paths to get around them. I went, a few weekends ago, with Guelphon, a guy from Calahorra, and his Yamaha XT.

It was a very nice place, with some nice tracks for the motorbikes, but the last part of the route we did was a bit hard, going downhill on tracks plenty of stones, very slippery sand and huge holes, very bad place indeed for the tyres my motorbike has. For some of the way down, I was skating more than riding 🙂

Here are some views from the path that took us down the hill. You can see other tracks in one of the photos, that go up to the Peña Isasa (that’s the name of the peak). Unfortunately, those paths are closed during the summer, because of fire danger in the area, so we’ll have to wait till the Autumn to get around them. In the second photo you can see the last part of the downhill track, although you can’t appreciate the difficulty in the photos.

I almost falled down on my bike a couple of times, but fortunately, I managed to control it and not bite the dust. My friend Guelphon also had some problems, but managed to get to the valley safe and alive.


Since I bought my bike, I’ve been riding a lot around the infinite paths there are around Peralta, and took some photos of some very nice places, like the view of the Arga and the Aragón rivers getting mixed in their way to the Ebro (a few kms away from the point where the photo was shot):

Or the Peñalén:

Doing so, I’ve also found lots of new friends:

I’ve also just uploaded all the photos we took last Easter, when our friend Conchi came to visit us. We went, with Uxue and Pato (although Pato is on none of the photos, he didn’t want to get shot :), to the “Venta de Juan Pito”, a restaurant in the Pyrenees, surrounded by huge mountains and where you can eat lots of home-made food for very little money. We had “migas”, “alubias” and then some meat, to finish so full that we needed to walk around a little bit before getting into the car.

My photos

I received this morning a mail from a guy from Colombia asking for permission for using my photos from Alexandria, to be used as part of the events for the ‘Books capital of the world’, which will be Bogotá next year. It seems they are going to use them to illustrate the cities that were Books capital of the world in previous years, which is a big honor for me. Even though my photos have no license specified, I think the best is to use Creative Commons License, so from now on, all my photos are officially under that license 🙂 Thus, I just told the guy to just include my name in the photo credits and to link to my website, where the ‘originals’ are. That’s enough, right?


I’ve been so busy that I totally forgot about the photos I took the last two weekends. The first one, we went to Panticosa, a ski resort in the Pyrenees, with such a bad luck that the first day it was raining, and that made us being so wet after 2/3 hours that we had to leave. The 2nd day it was worst, the resort was closed due to very high winds 🙁 But anyway, I took some nice photos:

The next weekend, we woke up at 7 AM on Sunday to go again for some skiing action, and while leaving my place, we saw the village had suffered from floods during the night.

In case things got worse (which was expected), we just turned back and missed another day of skiing 🙁 Next weekend we’ll do another try, maybe one of the last, since temperatures are starting to go up, and skiing in melting snow is not a very good experience. So I guess we have just 2/3 weeks left for this season 🙁

White Christmas

Pretty white Christmas this year for me, with a week of holidays in the mountain (in Cerler) skiing, and a return home to an icy landscape.

The week skiing was great, as always, only bad thing is that this year we went totally unfit for the 6/7 hours of exercise needed for skiing (it’s been 7/8 months without doing much exercise, apart from walking on the countryside), so, the first day, both Yolanda and I were exhausted and pleading to return to the hotel for some rest. The following days, fortunately, things went better, and, while still tired, much more than other times, we weren’t as exhausted as the 1st day. This was a call for us to do more exercise during the non-ski months.

The weather was great, cold enough for the snow to be in good condition, but with sunny days.

The surprise was when we came back, finding the whole road, from Graus (100s of meters below the Cerler mountains), in the province of Huesca, to Peralta, totally covered with ice, looking more like Siberia than what many people think about Spain (sunny and hot all year).

Fortunately, the roads were pretty ok, so there was no risk driving around. Since we were in a hurry (family waiting for us for Christmas’ Day lunch), we didn’t stop to take some better photos, so the ones I took were taken from the car, without stopping, which makes them not reflect how beautiful the landscape we saw was. The best photos are the ones taken already in Peralta, with the car stopped 🙂