Seven or more years ago Jan and Lynne Dalton were about to live their dream. They had made an annual pilgrimage to northern Spain in the daffodil season for many many years and knew every blade of grass from the Picos Europa to the Pyrenees. They had inspired many people to enjoy the mountains and seek out the species that grow there. Sometimes this lead to exciting moments, such as the first time we travelled to Fuente De in the Picos intending to see the tiny form of N. asturiensis that grows there. When we arrived there we were astonished to find that to walk on Fuente De you had to park your car and take a cable car which appeared to rise dizzyingly into the heavens on a slack rope and disappear into the clouds. The fact that N. asturiensis Fuente De form grew at about 8000 feet probably explained its tiny stature. What an adventure though, something to remember for the rest of your life, our thanks went to Jan for his generous sharing of his knowledge of the area. But Jan’s dream was to retire and spend the entire daffodil season in Spain, living and travelling around in a mobile home. This dream was about to start when, driving along a lane, an oncoming car being driven by an elderly man veered across the road and ploughed into Jan’s car. The good news was that they were not killed, but the bad news was that one of Jan’s ankles was so badly injured that the dream had to be put on hold for an unknown number of years. It wasn’t abandoned though and finally, last year, the mobile home was bought and they set out for Spain. After a glorious season travelling all around Spain, visiting old and new sites they returned to England to make plans for 2013. They came for lunch just before Christmas, and it was a pleasure to hear them describe some of their adventures and plans for the coming year, it was just a few weeks before they left for Europe in January and last week a postcard arrived from Les Landes near Bordeaux sent as they drove south through France towards Galicia in Northern Spain. A phone call two days ago confirmed that they’d seen their first flower, N. lagoi.
We have agreed to follow their travels in 2013 and post pictures of their interesting finds and encounters. I know they are meeting up with a small group from the Daffodil Society in March, near Santiago de Compostela. Watch this space. I find their story inspiring, sometimes you feel like giving up hope when things go badly wrong, but just keep going and your dreams can come true.