Saturday, September 01, 2012


My wife's family are from northern Spain. Her father was from a mountain hamlet called Peñalba de Cilleros, in the province of León. A few years ago we made some improvements to the house there and now are able to spend more time enjoying that wonderful area of Spain. The village is at 1300m (approx 5000') above sea level and surrounded by high mountains, which means cool nights in the summer and cold, long, and snowy winters. It also means its a not a great place for playing radio, but I do have a small station in one of the stone outbuildings and can hang antennas from the trees across the road.

This summer I was able to go for a week. On my arrival I set up the station and then went to see how the antennas were. This is what I found:

This is a 10 metre vertical dipole and a 20m end fed wire, all wrapped up in the rope that had held it up in the trees before the winter storms. Oh well. I spent a while unravelling it all. At least the rope was still up in the trees and I was able to hoist it back up again. And before long, making contacts, here I am in QSO with Ross, 2M0XAT in Cumbernauld:

If you worked me in the Spanish DME contest, the reference is 24142.

But with all those mountains about, this really is SOTA country:

So for my next visit I may programme a few mountain tops into our schedule, if we have time. Watch this space......

But in the meantime, it's back to the coast and time to enjoy sunrises like this one:


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