Monday, December 17, 2012

Perfect weather for hill walking

We had beautiful sunshine today with very little wind, a perfect day for a walk. Just outside the village is a very rough road, not suitable for cars, that leads to several trails through the mountains. As you climb higher you pass the remnants of old farmhouses dating back to the 1700s and 1800s. The hills are covered with the old stone terraces that now support stone pines and not the vines that they once did. In the 1870s a vine louse wiped out the entire viticulture in this area.

Finally, we reached the goat farm but we couldn't see any goats. Today we opted to visit the old church of Saint Baldiri. To do this we followed a narrow track lined with prickly pear cactus with their purple fruits, rosemary, stone pines and some thorn bushes. As we got closer to the church we were passed by several huge 4X4s, some with hunting dogs. I caught a glimpse of a wild boar in the back of the penultimate truck. It may seem cruel hunting the boar but they have up to three litters a year with up to nine piglets. They can be very destructive to gardens and crops.

Saint Baldiri is a ruin of an old church, watchtower and some other buildings. It is in a beautiful, almost parkland setting, where you can look out over the Mediterranean. It would have been a lovely spot for lunch if one of the hunters hadn't left his dog trailer with a couple of hunting dogs in it. One of these was making the most piercing plaintiff cries that you could hear for a long distance away. We climbed a narrow, rough path that eventually leads to Taballera Bay. It was a little further than we thought so we decided to stop for our ham and cheese baguette with tomato rubbed into the bread. It was delicious but unfortunate that we didn't take any wine with us. By now the sun had moved lower in the sky and we decided to visit Taballera Bay on another day.

On our return trip we went right up to the goat farm, which is an old stone ruin. There were no dogs outside today so we walked around the farm only to discover several mothers with their kids. My favourite was a white kid with two black eyes and striped black socks. The ruin is actually an old abandoned village where the goats run free.

Looking out over the valley we passed some pine trees shaking at the top.There were some men up the trees gathering the large pine cones. I'm not sure how they move their huge, loaded bags back to their car. We have seen this before in the trees behind our house. The first  time it was a little disconcerting to have someone shouting, "Hola," from the very top of a tree he was shaking within a few metres of your house.

Back at the car we were already planning which new path to follow on our next trip up Goat Farm Mountain.

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