History of the Hemingway
Kanala country house.
Kanala’s privileged location in the centre of the Urdaibai reserve has always attracted humankind for its charms and for its fertile lands.
Kanala’s privileged location in the centre of the Urdaibai reserve has always attracted humankind for its charms and for its fertile soils. Our family, consisting of my parents, myself and my younger brother, made a living from a dairy farm during a large part of our childhood; I have very special memories of that time, of the contact with animals, of nature overflowing with life, and of crickets chirping in the long summer afternoons. For several long years, my father and his partners worked to dig channels in the Isla district mudflats, adding fertilisers which helped to create 40 hectares of productive land on which the animals would graze and where they would also cut fresh grass rich in salt for storage in the Astei farmhouse silo. On summer weekends it was a regular occurrence in our family to have a picnic on the fresh grass and smell the fragrance of the flowers blowing in the gentle sea breeze. Those early years of my life sped by and we had to put our dairy activity to one side in order to tackle the new challenges thrown at us by nature, more closely connected to the building industry and using very noble materials such as wood. In this estuary going by name of Urdaibai, the summer sea breeze blows constantly, and with even more strength in autumn when the prevailing winds blow in from the south or the south-west(known by the locals as Erreka haize).
One day, on Kanala beach, I tried surfing with a kite, immediately falling in love with this new sport in the unbeatable setting of the Urdaibai reserve, with its clear and rather shallow water.
We met Jaime Arríen Bidasolo, a man of tremendous kindness, humour and worldliness due to having worked on cruise ships in many parts of the world. He offered us the chance to buy the Garuna atzekoa “Txune” farmhouse, where we realised the opportunity to continue expanding our existing tourist endeavour at the Ea-Astei houses. This new challenge meant turning the old Kanala farmhouse into an exclusive country house, but without losing its essence. To do it, we mainly used 100% natural materials, such as local Monterrey pine and larch, while making the most of salvaged materials. We turned it into an example of reinterpreting the Basque farmhouse, adapting it to the new modern needs and making the building’s energy efficiency as low as possible. The farmhouse is completely built using Ego-CLT & Ego-CLT-Mix cross-laminated panels made by Egoin, while for the forged work we chose an innovative system of wood and concrete composite for the purposes of reduced thickness. This system involves using prestressed cross-laminated panels with metal elements inserted using a two-component resin serving as a connection between the concrete and the wood. Here the idea is to apply traction to the cross-laminated panels while attracting compression from the concrete part. For the heating and cooling system, the house has a large 5000 litre inertia tank fed by a biomass boiler running on waste wood chips assisted by the solar thermal panels on the roof.
Over these last years, the Txune farmhouse has had to overcome numerous obstacles on the road to becoming a country house, but we’re convinced that it has all been worth the effort, and the arrival of every new customer encourages us to continue the struggle to turn our Hemingway Kanala House into an exclusive destination and a reference throughout the Basque Country.