Who Are We and Why Are We Here?

A Sheet of A4 And An Old Ford Escort

Hello. Let me present myself. My name is Georgina Howard and I am here with my Basque-Spanish-English daughter Marion. I am a published writer (‘Freedom to Choose’, 1998, was published in English and Danish by Time/System GmbH and ‘Breaking the Language Barrier’ 2001 published by Simon & Simon Publishing Lt in the UK). I also love languages, and can happily converse in about seven languages and have now picked up the gauntlet with Basque! Marion, however, is the true linguist. It was totally by chance that I first discovered the Basque Country.  I arrived here with an old Ford Escort called Fred, a Spanish-English dictionary, a pair of walking boots and an idea!

The story can be found in the private edition of my book 'Life on a Basque Mountain' which can be found at the house and is currently with literary agents. Born in Birmingham, I spent many early adult years working in Copenhagen where, finally, my passion for languages and mountains rebelled and drove me south! Two decades later I can say without a doubt that I have lost my heart to the Basque Country and the people of Ituren  who have watched over me with a maternal/paternal eye - and often in great amusement - every step of the way.  Today, I work with a passionate team of Spanish-Basque teachers, cooks, historians, guides, shepherds and musicians. John Crawshaw, arborculturalist and passionate environmentalist, now takes the lead on our nature-focused walking weeks and my mum, Valerie, gives an invaluable helping hand with the admin (and spell checks!) back in the UK. I couldn't have done it without her!

John Crawshaw, nature expert Pyrenean Experience
Edorta Zubiria - professional Basque folk singer and guitarist
The Joaldunak of Ituren - Pyrenean Experience Ltd

Just before I left Denmark I published my first book, 'Freedom to Choose' about how to make dreams come true and, in many respects, the Pyrenean Experience put theory into practice. The second book I wrote was 'Breaking the Language Barrier' which served very much as an inspiration for the Spanish language house-parties we run today. My final book, 'Life on a Basque Mountain' - currently a private edition - tells the story of how I arrived, and pays homage to the beauty of these Basque valleys and the wonderful Basque friends we have found. My research within the book (with specific reference to the history of the smuggling routes and underground resistance networks) forms the cornerstone of our guided Total Basque Mountain Experience Walking Weeks.

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If you would like to learn more about our lives here in the Pyrenees, the local culture and all sorts of idiosyncratic observations on the Basque history, values, languages etc. then our Blog is full of all sorts of stories taken from our own, personal, Pyrenean Experience.

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