18 Sep
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
2976
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (91 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (49 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

3 September 2017

Bare of bears

Consolation chamois

Consolation chamois

28 August 2017

The bears were even more of a wash-out than our lone wolf yesterday. We switched guides today, to Bernardo, who knows less English but clearly knows the mountains and wildlife like the back of his hand. And he took us out at a hideous hour to a very beautiful (very cold and windy) spot overlooking a wide valley. There we sat for three hours, but never a bear. We did get a really nice view of chamois nearby. And on the way back Bernardo paused at a high spot to train his scope on a distant ridge. A familiar ridge, because it was the one the wolf pack from yesterday morning lives on. We were looking at it from about 5km away, and yet through the scope could just pick out the miniscule figures of three wolves on the ridge. Impressive optics.

Ibex. It's right there, promise

Ibex. It’s right there, promise

We took the middle part of the day to drive out to Valle de Anciles, where Maria had said we might be able to spot ibex if we’re lucky. She didn’t mention that the valley is several miles down a dirt road, but luckily our brave little Toyota Aygo was up to the task. Still, had to trek the last half-hour. The valley was very beautiful, with huge white walls of craggy rock rearing up above green meadows. Apparently seven European bison have been released here as part of a reintroduction, but we saw no sign of them. We chewed on big bocadillas and scanned the cliffs for movement, and were eventually rewarded with a distant silhouette that Bernardo later identified as ibex rather than chamois.

See? Ibex

See? Ibex

That was later in the evening, when we met up with him again for our second bear watch. This time he was bringing along the president of the Spanish bear protection society, along with a family that he was presumably treating to a bear watching adventure. Groan. Once we got ourselves perched above another wide landscape to scan for bears, the husband and wife basically fell asleep. Their daughter watched patiently, but had a cough that burst out like a shotgun blast every couple of minutes. And then the father started snoring, making a noise like a lion announcing his territory. After spending the last two days holding whispered conversations with Maria and Bernardo because these animals are so nervous of humans that they simply vanish if they get the tiniest hint that man might be about, we really weren’t surprised that no bears showed up. To be fair, Bernardo also discovered that some locals had been rather randomly(?) walking their dog in the valley this evening, further reducing our chances of a sighting.

Bottom line, our quest for wolves and bears has been disappointing to say the least.

On the other hand, we’ve seen wolves and bears up close in Yellowstone. But we’ve never seen wildcats, chamois and ibex before and we’ve found all three of those ourselves. So, yay us! We celebrated with another lovely meal at Venta de Eslonza and collapsed into bed early.

Valle de Anciles

Valle de Anciles

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply