Panier of Plenty

The hidden valley

Central Céret

Central Céret

Passing 'Les Capucins'

Passing ‘Les Capucins’

Figs forming

Figs forming

Cherry orchard

Cherry orchard

Laden branches

Laden branches

The ascent

The ascent

Roots form natural aqueduct channels

Roots form natural aqueduct channels

The marked randonnée path

The marked randonnée path

Instead of doing the ironing, or sitting in a café discussing the many cancellations of events due to storms, I have been treading my way carefully up a flooded mountain path – the rocks slippery as aqueduct channels overflowed. With mist clinging to the hills and the dense forest still humid, the air was mysterious. Instead of following the randonnée track (I know where it leads), I veered off the path, descending a tiny meandering chemin that lead directly downhill.

A glimpse of the hidden valley

A glimpse of the hidden valley

I have had conversations with many people who have grown up in the centre of busy cities and they all say “they are afraid to venture out alone in nature”: the ‘unknown’, the silence, the emptiness (far from civilisation) strikes fear in their hearts. Yet I am “in my element”. I grew up in a small valley, where our cultivated land backed onto a natural reserve and forest which ‘continued forever’ through the eyes of a child. I am overjoyed to discover the magic of this pristine natural forest that lies ‘just here’, in my new home.

Lying by a thundering cascade – lavender, cistus, wild snapdragons and clusters of pink flowers growing from rocky crevices – I could not imagine a more perfect hideaway. I felt as if I was an explorer… I could have been trying to discover he source of the Nile and been no less enchanted…

Cistes cotonneux

Cistes cotonneux

Le Ciste à feuilles de sauge

Le Ciste à feuilles de sauge

Mouflier

Gueule de loup

Céret far below

Céret far below

The upper ridge

The upper ridge

The hidden valley

The hidden valley

Cascade

The first cascade with access

Exploring the waterfall

Exploring the waterfall

The gorge

The gorge

Scaling the rocks

Scaling the rocks

A natural pool

A natural pool

Crossing the river...

Crossing the river…

Continuing downstream

Continuing downstream

Path along the river

Path along the river

Filtered sunlight

Filtered sunlight

Heading towards Maureillas

Heading towards Maureillas

Before the next large cascade...

Before the next large cascade…

Returning to Céret

Returning to Céret

Palms

Palms

Winding my way through the hills

Winding my way through the hills

Canigou still veiled

Canigou still veiled

A reminder

A small pleasure

Coming back to street level

The église

Platains (plane trees)

Platains (plane trees)

As the bells of the église chime for midi, I am back in town, sitting under the giant plataines, looking across to the arches that form part of the ramparts of the medieval heart of Céret. But in my heart (still singing) there are mossy tree roots, arcing wild hazelnut branches and waterfalls – that will continue – as a reminder to ‘go with the flow’ and to always have the courage to tread new paths…

How sunlight changes the atmosphere! And now figs and cherries have formed…

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This entry was published on April 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm. It’s filed under Adventure, Antipodean, Architecture, Catalan, Country Life, Country Living, Culture and Arts, Environment, Europe, Ex Advertising Creative, Expat, Forest, France, French Culture, Garden, Hiking, History, Holiday, Home, La Vie Quotidienne, Landscape, Languedoc Roussillon, Leisure, Life, Lifestyle, Living in France, Mediterranean, Nature, New Zealander in France, Photography, Pyrénées, Pyrénées-Orientales, Randonnées, Seasons, South of France, Thoughts, Tourism, Travel, Tree-change and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “The hidden valley

  1. mesarapugs on said:

    What an enchanted forest climb indeed! Abundant with fairies, goblins, magic Faraway trees, and elves!

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