Bronze age in Mt. Illon, EA2/NV-038


Jorge EA2LU and I decided to try a far and less visited summit. We choose Mt Illon which had only been activated twice back in 2014, and never on HF bands.

Activation date: August 4th 2020. Well, it’s not such an old activation; why the Bronze age?


  • Track length: 4,1 km (one way)
  • Height: 1282 m a.s.l.
  • Height gain: 450 m

This summit is near the village of Bigüezal, located East of Navarra. You need to park in the hermitage of Santa Quiteria, just next the village, and then the hike starts.

First you have to follow a dirt road in bad condition. The route begins with a hard slope.

Mid way we could look the village from the height:

In the picture we can see the highest peak in the range in front of us is Mt. Arangoiti, a former SOTA summit, now retired.

Further on we found the dolmen of Faulo, a megalithic tomb dated about 1000 BC (Bronze age). It is a nice dolmen, the big stones are in place and there are nice views from this point.

Mid way to the summit there is a deviation left towards the hermitage of Saint Kiriko. You need to keep straight and enter a pine tree forest. The road disapeared and you have to walk on a tiny path, although it’s not difficult.

Close to the very summit there is another deviation with a sign post pointing towards Illon.

From this point it is just a few hundred meters to reach the very summit marked with a curious mountain mailbox, that looks like a drum and flute, two old ethnic instruments. More about this below.


The trouble of this summit is that it is fully covered with dense boxwood plants.

Deploying the wires above the high and wrinkled branches all over was very difficult. It was also complex to separate from Jorge to install my setup further apart avoiding interferences between us and I had some scratches on my arms while moving around to search for a non-existent spacy area. A bit nasty!

  • EA2LU station: KX-2 and Random wire inv L (more or less!)

Jorge ran on 5, 7, 14 & 18 MHz, only CW, logging 60 qso.
He logged these S2S: EA3BV/P Jon, IK2LEY/3 fabio, and EB2GKK/P Iñaki.

  • EA2BD station: KX-3, ZM2 tuner and Random wire (skewed wire!)

I ran on 7, 14 and 18 MHz SSB, and had the feeling of low signals, perhaps due to my bad antenna deployment. I closed my log with 27 qso.

I tried to chase S2S in CW but my key wasn’t working properly: when I plugged in a series of dots started to ran even without pressing the key!

I checked my key and could find where the trouble was, and spend some minutes trying to solve it unsuccesfully. Then I had an idea: I entered the CW menu of the transceiver and settled to straight key. Then I carefully plugged the key only mid way and finally the right paddle worked as a straight key!! This way I could log EB2GKK/P Iñaki, and F5UKL/P Andre. Thanks both for your great ears to get my bad keying this way!

The rest of my S2S were conducted on SSB: EA2/F5ODQ Alain and EA2/F5PLR Did, who have been very active from summits in EA2/NV last weeks, EC2AG Antonio, and GW4AZS Adrian in Wales.

Just before leaving I took a picture from the Pyrenees from a clear point back in the forest.

Ethnic tip of the day

Remember the mailbox which depicts a drum and flute. These instruments are called txistu and tamboril. They come from Middle Ages, and are still used during the summer festivals that are held in many villages here in Navarra and in theBasque Country.

Both the drum and the flute are played by a single person, called “txistulari”, and a group of them perform walking by the streets, playing old songs that people dance. It is part of the folk tradition that is still mantained.

73 de Ignacio


Interesting - I noticed when I have been in the Picos de Europa there were also Megalithic tombs identical to that - and of course they also occur all over Ireland too.

The local folk music was also quite similar to that played in Ireland!!

The Basque country is one of the Celtic nations I believe.
All these countries seem to share a similarity in music and other traditions

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Interesting reading… The Celtiberians – Celtic Life International


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You can read this also :wink:

73 Éric

Thanks, all,
Interesting stuff!

73, Ken

Don’t understimate the influence of the Spanish Armada - an awful lot of Spaniards were marooned on Scottish islands & mainland after shipwreck. Who knows - you could be my long lost brother :wink:

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I get the impression that for Bryan Sykes the Saxon tribes and the Norsemen never arrived in Britain! Also the term “indigenous” for the Celts ignores the fact that they were incomers, too, their various waves of predecessors were also incomers back to before the construction of Stonehenge, because in the Ice Age the very small part of Britain that was not covered in a kilometre of ice was uninhabitable.

I’m sure there must have been thousands of people and genetic exchanges back and forth over the centuries between the neighbouring territories of current EA1, CT, EA2, F and EI, G, GW, GM, etc, e.g. fishermen, traders and soldiers marooned after shipwrecks. Even vikings were seen in the NorthWest coast of what it’s today’s Spain and as far as Lisbon in current CT between the 9th and 12th centuries. We all must be cousins or relatives at a certain degree…


Hello Guru…you were right, that was a great read. Just highlights, we are all related! Hope you are keeping well …take care .

73 de Geoff vk3sq

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