The Bardena Blanca - often misnamed in the plural as 'Las Bardenas' - is a 'desert' zone in northern Spain and is one of the most popular sites to visit both on the TET and other long distance routes. But much of the centre of the nature reserve is actually a firing range for the Spanish Air Force!
As you can see from the map the TET runs around the perimeter of the range. It's in use all the time but occasionally they use live rounds so that part of the trail is closed. When this happens you can still ride up to the famous Castillo de Piedra from the south, along with scores of other visitors!
But if you're coming in from the north - following the TET - you should stop at the Shepherd Monument, otherwise you might be toast - literally!
The range is closed next week: 7, 8 and 9th of February (2018) from 10.00 - 11.00 and 13.00 - 14.00 each day.
The font of all knowledge is the Bardenas website but this doesn't seem to have a newsfeed, however on Facebook there's a 'Friends' page that seems to keep us all up to date, so be nice and become a friend of theirs and it'll pay you back!
I'll try my best to keep the topic up to date but if you are planning a trip please do check it out for yourselves - meanwhile there's a handy little 'bothy' next to the Shepherd's monument so if you roll up and see a 'Peligro' sign - and possibly a soldier or two! - then stop there and have a brew until the banging and crashing dies down!
Just for the record, being a bit of a 'Free Spirit' I ignored this sign in the Pyrenees a few years ago (actually the same trip and above) and rode through all the carnage - as I got near the end a van load of blokes flagged me down and - smiling broadly - explained that they were the Dynamite Crew coming back from their lunch break (they showed be the strong boxes in the back of the van ) - Oh, how we laughed!
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