Saturday, 16 June 2012

Spanish Pyrenees - botanising in Ordesa

I've just had a couple of weeks in Spain, the first of which was spent in the Pyrenees, walking and botanising in the Ordesa National Park. Of course I was also on the look out for other wildlife as well, especially birds, but before I get into all of that, I thought it would be good to put it all into context by showing a few photos of the truely jaw dropping scenery. The mountains here rise to 3348m or in old money nearly 11,000 feet, and there are cliffs with vertical drops of well over 1000 feet. The scale is vast.

We stayed in the village of Torla, just 4 miles or so from the entrance to the Ordesa Valley. The photos below are all of the Ordesa Valley apart from the last which is Torla. We also visited the adjacent Valle de Otal and Valle de Bujaruelo, which are both part of the Ordesa National Park, as well as a day trip to Sierra de la Pena near Jaca, which had a quite different flora and was probably the best birding site we visited. During the week, I estimate that we walked about 70 miles and climbed a total of around 11,000 feet, which is not bad considering the amount of time we spent looking at flora. A typical day lasted about 10 hours, from about 8am to 6pm.

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