Las Bardenas Reales: Blanca y Negra!

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Simon_100
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Las Bardenas Reales: Blanca y Negra!

Post by Simon_100 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:41 am

The two places are on the 'must do' list for the Spanish section of the TET so deserves a topic of its own! Firstly a few images of the one everyone goes for:

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A bride description of the geography here courtesy of Wikipedia, and a brief guide for visitors thanks to the 'Kingdom' of Navarre, which is the region that contains most of the area.

Now some history. The Bardenas are basically winter grazing grounds that were ceded to communities high up in the Pyrenees in gratitude for their assistance in the early days of the Spanish 'reconquista' or the explosion of the Moors dating from the IX Century - the earliest on record was granted to Roncal by King Sancho* in 882 - and over the years more zones were likewise ceded to various towns and 'barons'. Finally, and long after the Reconqista which finished in 1492, the same communities' gave financial aid to Kind Felipe V in the Spanish War of Succession (1704-14) - one wonders what would have happened had Phil lost! - and in return the communities have the grazing rights in perpetuity.

Later the locations have in turn been cede to the Navarre government as a nature reserve - but of course the grazing continues, hence the monument to the Shepherd to celebrate 'transhumance' i.e. cattle drover's and shepherd's semi nomadic lifestyle. Note that the little 'bothies' that you see dotted around are their summer homes ...

Here is then Shepherd's Monument as the TET enters the Bardena Blanca:

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And the famous Castillo de Piedra (Stone Castle) that is a huge draw to visitors - the TET passes this before heading back east away from the tourist visitor centre which is actually worth a short visit - nice lavatories and very, very cold drinks from the dispensing machine! :)

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The park promotes mountain biking in a big way but is very strict about motor access off the standard trails - and it is very closely 'policed'! - the main trails are totally easy and marked with these little 'bollards':

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OK, over to you guys to add you amazing pictures - it's best to get there there when the sun is low and fantastic after rain - the trails are gravel so more-or-less OK even with luggage. One fine day I'll ride through on a clear light and try my hand like the professionals - but don't try wild camping in the park!

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Enjoy!

Simon
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Re: Las Bardenas Reales: Blana y Negra!

Post by Paul C » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:22 am

I really enjoyed riding through the region. The route off to the left of the "stone castle" was closed when I went through. Nice to both take your time and to "make progress". I also went up to a kind of view point too. Interesting landscape.
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Last edited by Paul C on Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Las Bardenas Reales: Blana y Negra!

Post by Simon_100 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:34 pm

Nice pictures, brings back memories! Maybe the 'left' route was the one that goes past the military base - they have a mind of there own!

Regs

Simon
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