Sometimes it’s not necessary to spent much time, money or energy to find a Far-Off place.There are lucky people (like me) that live near or inside a Far-off place… Even people who live in a big city can look for and find it.
Today I’m proud to show you the Ribes Valley (Vall de Ribes in catalan), a site plenty of lonely places, where I was born and where I still live (with some interruptions during my university period). I advise you that’s impossible to show in only one post all the magical sites of this Valley and surroundings so I’ve decided to add a new category on my blog: Near-my-home Far-off places.
The Ribes Valley is situated at the Pyrinees mountains, in the border between France and Catalunya.
Vall de Ribes on the map
Vall de Ribes is a rural and low-density population valley, with only 6 little towns and about 3000 inhabitants. Characterised by its roughness and high-contrast landscapes, with a minimum altitude of 900m (2900 ft) and a maximum of 3000 m (9840 ft), including deciduous forests, conifers woodlands and alpine grasslands covered with snow all the winter.
‘Fagus sylvatica’ deciduous forest
‘Pinus uncinata’ coniferous woodland
Alpine grassland in summer
We have long cold snowy winters (with 4 ski resorts in a 30 km radius) and fresh stormy summers.
Puigmal Peak at 3000m (9840 ft) above the sea level, the guardian and the highest point of Ribes Valley)
Last Tuesday my sister and me spent a couple of hours in these places. The idea was to collect some new flowers and plants to my personal herbarium. We moved to a little town called Campelles (150 inhabitants) at 1200m (3940 ft) which has impressive pines and fir woodlands.
‘Pinus sylvestris’ woodland
‘Abies alba’ forest (www.hull.co.uk)
Campelles town (www.soyviajero.com)
However, the winter has not yet gone… Only 3 flowers had emerged from the ground (the pioneers)
‘Helleborus foetidus’ (www.taxateca.com)
‘Anemone nemorosa’ (www.desirableplants.com)
Even so, we used the time to take a snack while we were enjoying the landscapes.
Before came back to home, we saw and listened some strange animal signals. We followed for a while a poop-animal-truck in silence, and then, they appeared, a mouflon herd (a kind of alpine goat).
These animals are so difficult to meet due to their shyness and shortage, so we were lucky to saw them!
I let you one video, a little ugly and old-fashioned, but interesting. Enjoy it!