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Cycling B&B in the foothills of the Pyrenees

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Bonus, 5 Oct 2015.

  1. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    Tomorrow will be our final day of picking Olives!

    For the last two and a half weeks we've been helping Ramon & Rosa pick olives for a few hours every day. They have around 50 trees, some big & some small, that needed to be done. Half are up here at the farm and the others are down on the land near the river. We've had beautiful weather and it's certainly been "an experience" but by now all four of us are sick to death of it and will be glad when the last tree is finished tomorrow!

    I guess we have around a thousand kilos of olives by now which will be taken to the olive processing plant down the road and pressed into oil.

    You only harvest olives every two years - so whatever they get from this batch has to last that long . . .

    Ramon and Rosa. Rosa always has a smile ready :-)

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    Mrs Bonus and Ramon's baby that he bought brand new 45 years ago!

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    Wherever you are on the farm, the view is spectacular :-)

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    rich p, ColinJ and GM like this.
  2. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    I'm sure when on holiday in Corfu I saw a special 'olive tree shaking machine' to make that job easy ... :whistle:

    Yes - one of these! :okay:

     
    Bonus likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    Yeah I've seen videos of variations of that online. Haven't seen one in use here - although at the proper commercial olive growing plants they can't possibly do it all by hand, so must have some.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    We woke up to a surprise heavy mist this morning. I could barely see 5m out of the windows! By 10am the sun had burned through the mist up in Guaso though and it turned into another sunny day.

    We could still see mist down in the valleys so we drove up our hill to Guaso church and took a couple of pics and a video. Snow fell on the higher mountains last night too.

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    ColinJ likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    We had the pleasure of meeting up with some FB friends who've been following our story from the Isle of Skye in Scotland when they visited the area a few weeks ago 1f642.png

    Mark had contacted me initially via FB some time ago when he was thinking of buying some land over here and we've been chatting on and off ever since. Was nice to finally meet him in person, along with his partner Adele and his daughter Abi.

    They came to Spain in a custom made camper van and spent some of their trip camping in and around Ainsa.

    While they were here we all climbed the Peña Montañesa together, which I posted about a little while ago, and we did a few rides together. They also spent a day helping us pick olives with Ramon and Rosa and a day helping me with my "Garden wall building".

    Was really nice to be able to just speak English for a while!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    I think we can safely say that Winter is here!

    Beautiful clear skies and warm enough during the day when you're in the sunshine, but cold in the shade and temps dropping to below freezing overnight.

    No wind or rain so far . . . 1f642.png
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    IMG_2502.JPG First thing yesterday morning we had snow in Guaso! It settled but didn't last long - but it put us in the mood for a drive up into the mountains to test out our 4WD and just enjoy a sunny Pirenean winter 1f642.png

    Still amazed by the beauty of the mountains that are only 40 mins drive from Ainsa.

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    ColinJ likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    Last year I remember working outside and managing to wear shorts until a week before Christmas. I was very happy about that because, compared to when I'd lived in the UK, winter here seemed pretty manageable.

    This year however, I folded early, much to my disappointment. I assumed it was because the apartment we were in last winter was warmer than the farm house we're in this year, which allowed me to start the day "warm" before leaving to come to Guaso in the car to work in the sunshine . . .

    Talking to the locals though, it seems that November and December so far this year have been much colder than in previous years - so last year actually was "warmer until later". Equally, June this year was much hotter than it has been in previous years.

    Let's hope the trends return to normal next year!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    2018 is just around the corner and with it a new season of the Enduro World Series - which returns Zone Zero, Ainsa in Spain next September . . .

    Can't wait! :-)

     
  10. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    The first two walls holding up the bottom terrace are finished 1f642.png

    We had some help at the start from Ben & Corina (from the next village) and in the middle from Mark & Adele (from the Isle of Skye!)

    Before and After Pics . . . . .

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    BrumJim and ColinJ like this.
  11. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    Some more "work" photos . . .

    Mrs Bonus clearing away the undergrowth for the next stage of the retaining wall. It's longer than it looks!

    And me - you need a big spirit level for a big wall :-)

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    BrumJim and mjr like this.
  12. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    image.jpeg Although it was sunny and warm today, "Storm Ana" gave us heavy rain for the last two days - and in winter when it rains down here - it snows up there!

    The Pena Montañesa now has snow on it . . . . .
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    Last Spanish lesson this afternoon until after Christmas.

    We go every Monday at 5pm for 2 hrs. It's free, provided by the local council and the classes are very small - no more than 7 people per teacher.

    In our class we have a couple from Australia, a girl from Brazil, a woman from Holland and a chap from Ireland. Spanish with an Irish or Australian accent sounds very funny - but they probably think the same about our accent.

    The teacher speaks no English. She's the Mayoress of a local town and she enjoys teaching us - which makes it nice

    :-)
     
    Znook likes this.
  14. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    "Shortest Day" of the Year in the Northern Hemisphere today.

    Here in Ainsa/Guaso we have Sunrise at 8:25:36 and Sunset at 17:29:59 . . . that's 9hrs 4mins 23 Secs of Daylight.

    From tomorrow onward things can only get better . . .

    :-)
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Bonus

    Bonus Senior Member

    Location:
    Ainsa, Spain
    "Rutas Carretera de Zona Zero" (The Road Routes of Zona Zero)

    Zona Zero has released details of the "Road Bike Cycling Routes" that I talked about on here a little while ago.

    There are 13 Routes in all - 10 are in Spain and 3 are in France, in the district that adjoins Zona Zero to the north and with which Zona Zero is collaborating for this special project.

    On the website "https://bttpirineo.com/es/road" each route has a description summary, a map, a hill profile and guide notes.

    The routes are all circuits and you are able to join them at any point and "do a lap". You can also combine routes to make routes to suit yourself.

    The shortest route, ZR-06, is 45km long with 1300m of climbing.
    The longest route is a variation of route ZR-01 which is 189km long and has 3900m of climbing.



    I'm looking forward to going out and testing them all in Spring! 1f642.png
     
    Znook likes this.