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Honeymoon quartz
  Index -> The histories behind mineral specimens

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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Nov 29, 2020 07:58    Post subject: Honeymoon quartz  

Yesterday some Spanish friends and I were chatting (on-line) about mineral collecting and one said he had visited a mine without his hammer. I was horrified! Let me explain:

My honeymoon was spent in Asturias, Spain and I forgot to take a hammer as I had other things on my mind. We had a fantastic time, eating wonderful food and doing lots of long walks (hikes). Highlights included finding the best walnuts I have ever eaten ready for collecting, from under the tree. So we filled a small sack.

We also had one of the best simple meals in my life - we had been out for a long walk and were very hungry, so we stopped at a restaurant at a time that was very late for lunch, even in Spain. When I asked if they were still open they said that they could do a quick meal of chorizo, chips (french fries) and eggs followed by creme caramel ('flan' in Spanish). The potatoes, eggs and milk were from their farm, and the flan was the best I have ever eaten.

One day we decided to go for another walk in the Picos de Europa starting in a small village called Oceño (which I knew as a group of us had visited an old mine nearby some years earlier and had bought a wonderful blue cheese in the village). My wife and I found a new farm access dirt road had been built that left the village and climbed into the hills. So we started walking up it and after about 10 minutes of scanning the cuts made in the soil, I spotted Quartz crystals. I tried to dig them out but it was hard with no hammer or tools. My new wife left me to it (an approach that she kept up forever after) and I kept trying. After a while, she came back and asked to return to the hotel in Arena de Cabrales. So I took her back to the hotel, emptied the sack full of walnuts into a plastic bag and went back to Oceño armed with nothing more than a stout stick and the sack. I did manage to collect some of the Quartz crystals. Nothing exceptional but a nice memento from the honeymoon.

A few years later I was back in Asturias with the friends I mentioned earlier. I told them I knew of a pocket of quartz near Oceño that must still be there, so we went to find it. While we were looking at what was left of the pocket a local farmer came by and had a long conversation with a friend about 'who could be so stupid as to dig holes in the bank beside the dirt road and below his field'. My friend did a great job of saying that she 'had no idea who on earth would be that stupid'. Yesterday I took a quick snap of one of the specimens I still have from that find.

Since then I have never forgotten to take a hammer on a walk (much to the annoyance of my wife and children) and I have often found interesting things that the hammer helped me liberate. These have included minerals, fossils and stone age tools.

 Mineral: Quartz
Road PA-3 Mildon to Oceño, Peñamellera Alta, Comarca Oriente, Principality of Asturias (Asturias), Spain
 Dimensions: 15 cm x 10 cm x 10cm
The exact locality is PA-3, about 500m above the village
 Viewed:  17201 Time(s)


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