To be honest, I am not completely sure why I start getting involved in the task of writing a blog about my mountain activities, specially when my spare time is very limited, and I am not sure until when I will be able to maintain it with good quality posts. I strongly believe that in life you should always be trying and learning new different things, and usually the things you regret are not the things you have done wrong, but the things you never tried... so here I am. The intent of the blog is not showing all mountain activities I do, indeed, most of them will not be posted probably by lack of time, or showing how skilled, clumsy, trained or unfit I am in the outdoors. Quite the contrary, my aim is to make to known hundreds of amazing spots you can discover within Spain and surroundings if you leave the city behind you and start exploring the outdoors.
There are already many, even thousands, of mountain blogs covering all Spanish mountain ranges. Many of them are extremely interesting and accurate, with thorough descriptions of the route and wonderful high quality pictures which combine both a trained eye for the photography and the unique chance that being in the wild outdoors of the mountains provides for such beautiful landscapes shoots.
I am sure this blog cannot be compared to those high quality blogs, neither the pictures I take while in the mountains, so probably the only difference I introduce is that I will try to write in English (or both English and Spanish) for all those people who want to spend some time in the Spanish mountains and do not know a word of Spanish.
Mountain and outdoor activities bears always a risk, many times unpredictable risks. On the other hand, the difficulty of each mountain activity is rather subjective, depending on many factors such as the training, the strength and the mountain skills of the person doing the activity, the weather, the time of day, the season of the year and the particular conditions of the terrain at the moment of the activity... In many posts I might use the climbing grade for the activities (see a summary here Climbing grade), but in many others I might skip this. I am always happy to help and give a further detailed description of any of the activities I have done if you request it, but bear in mind that you are the only one to blame for all things that might happen to you while in the mountains. So, in case of doubt, do not do it, or hire a professional mountain guide to better enjoy the activity. Therefore I deny any responsibility derived from the practice of the activities I post in this blog.
I started in 2009 posting some of my outdoors activities in wikilocs, and now I think that for a little extra time it might be interesting including them in this blog. I have included a map with the location of all activities and their corresponding wikiloc post (you must be a registered user in order to download the track). If you are interested in some of the past activities I have done, please do not hesitate to ask.
Finally, as I am sure you have already noticed, English is not my mother tongue, so, my apologies for the spelling/grammar mistakes.
As you might guessed, the name of the blog comes from famous Kavafis poem about the trip to Ithaka. Discovering mountains, is for me, a never ending trip whose final destination is not so important as all the thing you meet on the way up and down.
As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.
Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
Cuando emprendas tu viaje a Itaca
pide que el camino sea largo,
lleno de aventuras, lleno de experiencias.
No temas a los lestrigones ni a los cíclopes
ni al colérico Poseidón,
seres tales jamás hallarás en tu camino,
si tu pensar es elevado, si selecta
es la emoción que toca tu espíritu y tu cuerpo.
Ni a los lestrigones ni a los cíclopes
ni al salvaje Poseidón encontrarás,
si no los llevas dentro de tu alma,
si no los yergue tu alma ante ti.
Pide que el camino sea largo.
Que muchas sean las mañanas de verano
en que llegues -¡con qué placer y alegría!-
a puertos nunca vistos antes.
Detente en los emporios de Fenicia
y hazte con hermosas mercancías,
nácar y coral, ámbar y ébano
y toda suerte de perfumes sensuales,
cuantos más abundantes perfumes sensuales puedas.
Ve a muchas ciudades egipcias
a aprender, a aprender de sus sabios.
Ten siempre a Itaca en tu mente.
Llegar allí es tu destino.
Mas no apresures nunca el viaje.
Mejor que dure muchos años
y atracar, viejo ya, en la isla,
enriquecido de cuanto ganaste en el camino
sin aguantar a que Itaca te enriquezca.
Itaca te brindó tan hermoso viaje.
Sin ella no habrías emprendido el camino.
Pero no tiene ya nada que darte.
Aunque la halles pobre, Itaca no te ha engañado.
Así, sabio como te has vuelto, con tanta experiencia,
entenderás ya qué significan las Itacas.