Our holiday home in France is nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees and the local forested hills look promising for walks. TJS and me spied a small hill called La Souque a short distance from home that had a path marked to the top. Nuff said, and after a lazy day by the pool we headed out for a late afternoon walk.
After a drive along a forest road that caused several wince-inducing scrapes of the car chassis we headed off into the woods
We’ve made something of a habit this year of overgrown paths (check out our walks in North Wales and Mynydd Llangorse) and this one lived up to those challenges. After a 15 minutes of grass overgrown forest track the path plunged into a dark jungle of wild raspberry and blackberry bushes. The path was just about distinguishable but with shorts it was a painful ascent from which I still bear the scars (although the tiny wild rasperries and strawberries were nice). TJS was giving me the look again that I hadn’t told about these sorts of paths.
After 30 minutes of struggle we started to emerge onto the higher slopes with a clear path and sunny Alpine style glades. It was suddenly rather enchanting
We were soon on the summit at 1635m, a broad and grassy sway with expansive views over the local hills, down to the sea and back across to cloud-shrouded Canigou Massif that I’d climbed last year.
It was a perfect afternoon, warm enough to laze on the summit in the sun without being too hot for walking.
We wandered down the west ridge through grassy meadows, steep slopes and past rock tors and smelly sheep.
Nice easy going walking and we walked and chatted in the evening sunshine without a care in the world. A long stroll back along the forest track to the Fontaine de Brigardier (a manky stream and an equally manky shelter cum bothy) ended the day
A short walk, a simple walk, sometimes the best kind
Blimey, I’m getting further behind by the week. Still a few posts from my summer hols outstanding. Here are a few photos from a couple of beach trips.
Rather than spend a whole day on the beach where it is blisteringly hot, we took a little detour up into the Monts D’Alberes for a picnic lunch. The Lavall Valley has a very nice cool stream and we were very lucky in finding our own private spot.
The water wasn’t really deep enough to swim but there was enough to cool off and plenty of shade that made for a much more relaxed eating experience than the beach. It’s a fine spot and well worth the detour. An early morning walk on the surrounding hills and an afternoon dip is a plan I think I need to follow through next time
The beach at Le Racou is like all French beaches – crowded and noisy but it’s a kids day out.
The wind had whipped up some big waves so we had a fine time bouncing around on the inflatables and got out for some snorkelling (it was much too rough for the kids).
Like last year the skies darkened and rain looked imminent but this time it stayed dry.
We also took another day trip to El Port de la Selva in Spain.
A nice pebbly cove (complete with wrinkly nudists!) with some excellent snorkelling by Mediterranean standards and lovely views along the coast
Again the wind whipped the waves into a frenzy and the skies darkened ready for a storm. Again it never happened but the sunset was all the more impressive through the clearing clouds after a nice meal on the seafront
More photos and a nice tune…..
A photo post of our life of leisure at our home from home in the foothills of the Pyrenees. We returned to same the same superb property as last year although this time in “The Mas” rather than the Ville D’Olive
View from the terrace
Pool Fun 1
Both properties are linked together and both superbly laid out and appointed. The Mas has a much bigger pool though and a hammock so it just about wins the family vote although not by much
The Mas and the Ville D’Olive
We spend the majority of our days in the simple pleasures of eating, swimming, sunbathing and relaxing, proper detox for a busy executive 🙂
Pool Fun 2
Might as well JUMP!
The views across the mountains are just superb especially in the early morning and evening.
Sunset over Spain
The local village of Montferrer is a 10 minute walk away. It’s a peaceful, charming little village with a small, friendly cafe that provides the daily bread and pastry supplies, and overlooked by a ruined castle on the hill
Chateau de Montferrer
No finer feeling than sitting in the warm sun with a book (or a gadget magazine in my case) looking over the mountains. It’s a rare find this place with such a wonderful house with a stunning pool and garden and amazing views. I could live here
View from the Hammock
More Pool Views
More Pool fun
Eating is a serious business when in France. Freshly baked croissants and bread in the morning, salads and cold meats at lunchtime, BBQ in the evening
Breakfast in the Conservatory
Act your age!
A fabulous couple of weeks with some day trips to follow in later posts. Some more photos in the slide-show below