Journalist José Antonio Ponseti
Journalist of recognized prestige in the main radio and television stations in Spain.
JOSE ANTONIO PONSETI
Journalist of recognized prestige in the main radio and television stations in Spain - and even in America -: RNE, Radio Caracol, Canal + and Cadena Ser; Director and Collaborator of several magazines and author of travel guides, has worked for avant-garde, Avui, AS Newspaper or Mundo Deportivo.
He is currently a member of Cadena SER's "sports carousel" team and directs the programme "80 y la madre" on M80 radio.
How and when did you first meet the Benasque Valley?
Because of my parents, I think I was 5 years old and we went to the Baths of Benasque. In those days it was a real odyssey, you would reach Benasque, the road was not like today, many curves all narrower and a lot of hours.
But the second part was in Benasque where the Lord José, father of Cuca and Pepe Castán used to raise us in a defense by the old way of the Baths. I think that my passion for the Camel Trophy was born on that road, with wooden bridges in which it was necessary to aim well to not end up in the river, infernal ruins, ditches, rocks, all kinds of animals, sarrios, foxes, thousands of insects, all an adventure that had to stop to look for mushrooms, blackberries, strawberries, a small wonder.
What is best for you in the Benasque Valley?
The feeling of being part of nature, raising your eyes and never ending the Valley, as the mountains, sky, lakes and rivers melt.
What time of year do you like it best?
I enjoy all year round, maybe more in Summer and Winter. But all autumn colors and the amount of spring life is priceless. The fantastic thing about Benasque is that no matter what time of year you choose, you always get it right.
What activities do you recommend for the Benasque Valley?
I recommend walking, in all corners, climbing and descending peaks, having skis on hand to help you enjoy the winter, where the valley becomes a small wonder covered with snow.
If you like to ride a bike there are some amazing routes, you don't finish them, towards any of the four cardinal points you find a path to travel. Water, ravines are another option and to finish the game there is always a wall to climb.
It's been a few years now that when you look at the sky you see a few brave ones with their gliders, so we also have this part covered, we don't forget the sky for activity.
By the way, do not dare to go up and down, there is always the good cuisine of the restaurants in Benasque where you can eat luxury food.
What anecdote do you remember most fondly about your stays in the Valley?
There are so many years in Benasque that I think everything has happened to me, I remember that in 1980 the movie Stanley Kubrick's The Brightness was released, that summer some gentlemen who were dedicated to recording supposed voices of spirits went up to the Baths. I was walking at night, through the long corridors of the hotel scared thinking that at any moment I would appear the twins of the movie, never happened, luckily, hahahaha.
What village, place, Iberian, etc. would you recommend that you should not miss the Valle de Benasque?
I don't have a single favorite place, I have many. I think this is what makes this environment so special that it always surprises you. Discovering every corner is magical. From the first time when I was five years old, until today, I always find new things, different places.
What is your favorite place/nook in the Benasque Valley? How would you encourage someone who doesn't know you to come to the Benasque Valley?
Everyone who wants to enjoy a unique place, good people, excellent food and above all something very necessary these days, PEACE. Benasque recharges your batteries and your body with good energy and manages to make you forget all the burden that we carry every day in our jobs, with our families... for me it is the best therapy with the best views and the purest air.
Is there anything else?
I want to end up sharing two magical things, the whistle of marmots as you walk along a path near where they have their burrows. And the first time I saw a group of sarrios jumping back and forth on a hillside, I was fascinated by that image.