We are well into autumn now but the temperatures remain surprisingly mild despite the ever-shortening days.
Yesterday our walk took us to the valley area below Longoio. Holm oaks abound here among the outlines of old terraced fields. We passed a number of unoccupied buildings, some of which were being restored and also a bird-hide (for hunters rather than bird-watchers!).
What is pleasing here is that the buildings are not normally fenced off with barbed wire, entanglements, electric fences and other impedimenta. There is still the age-old respect for property which doesn’t need to be made inaccessible to the well-intentioned walker.
Regrettably this may well change with an increase in thefts of farm equipment and also with a cultural change: several brits and other foreigners who have moved into this area tend to fence off everything in sight which is theirs and deny common access. This attitude gets up the nose of many locals but also inspires others to do the same, which is most unfortunate.
This was one of the things we didn’t enjoy much in our walks in Wales: the sudden meeting with barbed wire to keep sheep in (or us out?). Here sheep don’t need that since they are led home to their pens in the evening by the shepherd and appear very domesticated indeed!
The paths are mostly bridle paths and, even with the recent rain, are very walkable!
It’s quite perfect to spend time in the day’s declining sun among these areas which once would have been intensely cultivated with spelt and wheat but now are largely given over to pasture.
There is a delightful mill in the centre of our walk. The water-wheel has long disappeared but the channelled course of the stream which once fed it still remains: in the wanderer in love with the miller’s daughter’s words:
I hear a brooklet rushing
Right out of the rock’s spring,
Down there to the valley it rushes,
So fresh and wondrously bright.
And so back home to a nice cup of tea…