Monday, January 21, 2013

Spain, sun and climbing

It's been a wet cold winter here in sw France.  Something that doesn't make me very happy.  We are outdoors people.  We bike, run, hike and climb.  When it's cold and rainy we can't do these things and start to go a bit crazy being trapped in the house.

We checked the weather for an area in Spain we wanted to visit for the amazing climbing.  It's in Catalunya and the tiny village is Santa Engracia.  It's just over the Pyrenees, 5 hours from our house and there is tons of climbing all around.  It was sunny and we hopped in the car and headed down for a few days.

There aren't many places to stay in this area.  It's pretty remote, but luckily we found Casa Mauri.  The owner, Jane,  bought the place in 2011.  It's a large restored farmhouse, broken up into her residence, and 3 other houses that she lets out.  Santa Engracia is the highest point in the area, you drive up a windy road 15 minutes until you reach the tiny village.  There are probably 50 people in the village, but during this time of year maybe 5.  It was so beautiful and you looked out over the valley to beautiful sunrises and sunsets.  The accommodations are clean and have everything you need (fully equipped kitchen and linens).  The prices are extremely reasonable and she takes dogs!

the church in Santa Engracia just outside our house

View of the valley from our terrace

walking through almond groves on the way to the cliff

sun, warm and great climbing

just look at those blue skies!

the kids

and this is what we came back to

We climbed 3 days in a row.  And had an amazing time.  We stayed for 4 nights and had hoped to possibly stay longer, but Jane had other guests coming in, so we had to head home to more rain and cold.  We plan on going back in February for sure.