By Sophie Nougué
I took the time not to post anything to regain a taste for what I really wanted to share with you. Exploring what makes my heart beat, and gives me a great burst of joy. Today, I want to tell you about a new adventure.
After long months of searching, I found a house and its “borda”, -grange-, as they are called here in the Basque Country. The house is called “Antxilenea” which means “that of …”
Antxilenea enjoys an idyllic location in the immediate vicinity of the road to St Jacques de Compostela and the GR 10. The stone of the house has two small white and red lines signifying that you are on the right path …
It is a place for hiking, a crossing point between the North and South Basque Country via the Errozate pass. The torrent which flows in front of the house is that of the sources of the Nive. Antxilenea is beautiful and happy, proud of her history in this welcoming land. An exceptional place for which I immediately felt the obvious: I am in the right place. My life is like this, wild nature is my commitment.
A new story of my life begins here in the heart of the Antxola Baxa Jaun forest, which means “the wild man”. At all times, those who deeply love and respect nature come to recharge their batteries and at certain historically complicated periods, hide there.
The site classified as a Natura 2000 zone is a biodiversity reserve. Rare, protected species, both animal and plant, of exceptional quality constitute the ecosystem. Otters, Mink, Pyrenean Desman (trumpet rat, very vulnerable species), amphibians and reptiles including the European Pond Turtle (freshwater turtle), batrachians, crustaceans, White-legged crayfish, fish, Salmon, Shad, Lamprey, Toxostome Sofie, all the large mammals endemic to the Pyrenees, deer, hinds, deer, bears, foxes, badgers, but also large raptors, eagles, vultures, black kites, … Orthoptera (insects) Agrion de Mercure (dragonfly) , Lepidoptera (butterflies) the Copper Marsh … More than nineteen habitats and eighteen species defined as of great community interest, including five priority in conservation, are listed by the Regional Conservatory of Natural Areas of Aquitaine and the Conservatory National Botany.
A remarkable flora, Angelica, Hairy Soldanelle, remarkable Trichomaniac, Oncolie, completes this magnificent picture. Amphibious vegetation (banks), aquatic and arborescent vegetation, forests, beeches, alders, oaks are the living heart of this earthly paradise, the preservation of which is a major issue.
Antxilenea is the last building in the valley. My wish is to renovate it while respecting the ecological issues that arise. The house and its barn will be operating in a few months in full autonomy. The meadow and the adjoining forest, which already allow for the collection of nourishing plants of an incredible diversity, will be enriched by a vegetable garden in permaculture. Soon, Antxilenea will once again be a place of welcome, sharing and immersion for the observation and understanding of this wild nature from which we come …
Muxu & Adesunatz
– Way of St Jacques de Compostelle, from St Jean Pied de Port, mythical stage known as the Ports of Cize
– GR 10, long-distance hiking trail that crosses the Pyrenees mountains
– Esterencuby Village
– Sources of the Nive
– IGN map no Iraty Forest and Pic d’Ory
Speleological exploration of the Sources de la Nive
– Egun On, hello
– Milesker, thank you
– Muxu, kiss
– Adesunatz, best regards
To support the Antxilenea project,
web site https://divein.space
Pic, thanks to @ElodieLifeIsGood