Evening Walk

Would you like to go for a walk?  This one isn’t too strenuous, but is about 10km long.  There’s plenty to see and appreciate.  We’ll be going through that village you can see from our terrace.

You’ve got your walking stick, I see, great!

View of Celucos from the terrace

We turn south out of our apartment and walk for about a kilometre on the main road.  There is a pedestrian path, so isn’t as bad as it sounds.  We meet other walkers and occasionally stop for a chat.   The walk takes you over a bridge which overlooks the Río Seco.  It is aptly named due to it being a dry river bed.   I suspect there is a great deal of wildlife to be witnessed within the woodland.  Deer and boar perhaps?

The Rio Seco

Shortly after, we turn east, and follow a single track road down to Las Barcenas.  The road is lined with rocky outcrops that host a variety of wildflowers.  We can’t but help take photos of as many as possible.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hey look, there’s orchids!  We brave the ditch and rocky ledge to get a little closer.

Las Barcenas is a tiny community of about six houses.  Wandering past one, a cat steps lazily from the house to a comfortable spot in a shed on the other side of the road.  The owner follows him out, but appears a little afraid of strangers.  With the aid of his stick he warily potters to the calia lilies that seem to growing directly through the tarmac.  We exchange a few words, but he’s not one for talking.


As we round the bend, we come upon the Río Nansa.  It has a footbridge crossing, but we’re told by a friendlier fellow, walking his dog, when the river rises it can cover it completely.  After heavy rains we’ve seen recently we’re able to imagine what it would be like if it was a couple of inches higher.  His dog lies down in the grass and waits patiently.  The fellow tells us he has a house to rent, as it is too big for him.  It is a beautiful place, solitary, in the middle of a field and borders the river.  He says as it would fit eight people, he’s not really getting offers.  He seems to be asking our opinion about what best to do with it.

‘Sell it to me for at least half what it’s worth,’ I’m thinking.

Las Bárcenas

We are going in different directions, so part company, but he hopes we can chat again. You’re impressed with how my Spanish is coming on as we had talked for at least ten minutes without too many eh?s or huh?s.  I feel proud of myself.

We begin the climb towards Celucos.  It’s not steep, but enough to raise the heart rate a bit.  You complain as I promised it wouldn’t be too strenuous.

It’s not long before we reach Celucos.  The village has about 70 inhabitants, but has no services, including bar.  The absence of a bar is quite rare, but these satellite villages are dependent on Celis and Puentenansa for the basics, you know, like a bar.

I remark that Celucos, as pretty as it is, isn’t a place I’d like to live.  It is pretty enough, but there is a feel and atmosphere to it that I don’t like.  It’s the first village I’ve been to that made me feel that way.   When we first visited, Verd didn’t like it for a different reason.  It is very like being in the middle of a cowshed, being a community of cattle farmers.  However, it is very pretty to walk through, and if you take the time to venture up one of the mountain tracks, you get a good view over Celis and Riclones.  I point out the track and ask if you’d like the climb.  You refuse, but comment on how it feels you’ve stepped back 50 years in time.  The elder inhabitants seem to have maintained a way of life resistant to the industrial and technological progress witnessed elsewhere.

The lane turns through the village and continues along the river bank.  Here we stop to greet an older tree.  One day, I found myself talking to it out loud, and only came to my senses when a car chance to pass me by.  This evening we give it a grateful hug.

Gnarled Tree

A little while after, a sign indicates entry into the next community, La Molina.  It is a little larger than Las Barcenas, but if the sign wasn’t there, you wouldn’t have realised it was a place with a name.

La-MolinaThe walk is almost downhill from here, but we take a diversion upward to the site of La Cueva Chufín.  The cave is a heritage site as it contains some prehistoric paintings.  It’s closed when we arrive, being out of season.  But I take note of its opening dates and booking details, so that when you come again, we can enjoy it together.


Not far from the site is a church dating from the 17th century, la iglesia de San Pedro.  It has a picturesque bell tower and cemetery.  It’s evening and now threatening rain, so we proceed home, over a bridge that is designated as a site of cultural interest and through Celis back to where we started.

The Bell Tower of La Iglesia de San Pedro

I offer a cuppa, but you look a bit disappointed, so I suggest, perhaps something stronger, pointing to the bottles in the corner.  I select an Orube crianza, it’s my new favourite rioja.  I hope you agree.

Click Here for Your Copa de Orube Rioja

Parts of the walk are portrayed in the following video, where the visitor talks about the beauty and culture of Celis and Celucos (in Spanish).  You’ll see some views during part of the walk I’ve not shown here.






10 thoughts on “Evening Walk

  1. Thank you so much for showing us around! You’re really in the “thick” of things nestled there in all that woodland. Ticks? That one flower that look like a stack of something was very interesting. What an assortment of wildflowers. It’s quite beautiful there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Going back to that bit about the old man with the big empty house. Correct me if I’m wrong, but he willingly gave you that information, such as not getting offers, and asking you what he should do and you didn’t do anything? And again correct me if I’m wrong, but you guys haven’t got yourselves a house to live in as yet, just temporary accommodation, right?
    So there you are in the middle of nowhere and any kind of decent house will be very thin on the ground, particularly an empty one in what could be decent condition in a lovely spot and you know yourselves just how few people are on the ground there and you didn’t press the guy for a deal? You know very well that the guy will never be pressed hard with counter offers. You’ve got yourselves a capture.
    Why don’t you offer him half the usual rental rate and take the house on that basis for a while and then see if it works for you before ever going down the road of buying. Just be blatant and never waver – offer the guy half as that’s a half more than he’ll ever get anytime soon.
    You have to be ten times more careful buying stuff in rural areas for the simple reason that’s all too obvious – the difficulties of re-selling if needs must.
    Besides, number one concern for you is will the locals ever accept you? Do you want to wait five years before they do? Do you care? Can you accept that they very well might ignore you for the next five years? It’s probably easier for women, as it usually is in these situations, but the same cannot be said for men, who seem to operate on a completely different scale of rules. Which could be a worry for your man. I’m only surmising, please understand, having been there and experienced that.
    Can you survive for any length of time in some tiny village with just one bar in it? Is that how to go about it? I’d be worried sick of it’s imminent closure and feel compelled to too frequently prop it open!
    You biggest problem is not establishing your ecology themed lifestyle (sorry, I’ve forgotten your correct term for it), as that’s all about planning and physical work, but it’s about the people you have surrounded yourself with. In my case I lost some pigs to theft, same family did it twice in a row before Easter. Way to go. Had I accused them they’d have cooked me, too.
    I don’t know what you want, but I did a similar thing a while back in Portugal and very nearly drove myself mental doing it after a while. The first year or so was fine, then it becomes routine, then later on it becomes a trap and you’re still surrounded by the same in-bred, inter-related families (with each household having a hidden-away and only ever seen wheeled out at Christmas and Easter, cooped up in a backroom and the result of some interactive drunken family mistake one Christmas) and the same people every time at that same bar with the same chat and wearing the same shirt for four months in a row. Yes, I got it all down to pat.
    After two/three years I simply had to move back much nearer to the outskirts of town.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you are saying completely. You’ve hit on a lot of what we’re concerned about ourselves. The social situation is extremely important. Thankfully our current bolt-hole gives us time to explore all the options carefully and figure out some of the things you’ve mentioned. Permaculture emphasises slow, small changes at a time and taking time to observe. We’ve not got our small-holding yet, but the principles still guide us. Sorry to hear about your more negative experiences in Portugal. Thank you for the valuable input, Amp(?)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.