We walked straight from the house, up the track and out onto the hills to walk a huge curve which would bring us along the other side of our valley and eventually back up the hill home.
From the top we could look down on the holiday cottage and you can even see the shepherd's hut in the corner of the field. You can't see the house from here as it is tucked away in the trees.
The hills are just beginning to green although the trees are stubbornly bare and the bracken has yet to sprout.
Hugh and Lindsay stride out and I, theoretically the leader of this walk, just about manage to keep up. It is much wetter up here than I had expected and Hugh who isn't wearing walking boots gets his feet quite wet in his lighter trail shoes. The snow has all gone now but I suppose the ten foot drifts have disappeared by soaking deep into the hill.
The hill is alive with lambs. Impossibly sweet, they bleat and run and lie sleepily in the sun.
From a distance this figure seems alive too but get closer and she is truly disconcerting. I have no idea why she stares into the wind, snug in her high viz jacket.
As we come down a little on the far side of our valley we attract the attention of alpacas and llamas. Well, the alpacas aren't that interested.
But the llamas get quite carried away.
Aren't they fabulous with their shaggy fringes, soulful eyes and soft noses? They have rather odd teeth but we shall pass over that today.
Shaggy highland cattle have even longer, shaggier fringes.
As we begin the climb up from the river in the bottom of the valley, the banks on either side of the track are full of celandine and wood anemones.
So for three hours we are out in the sun and the breeze, surrounded by new life. I think we have earned our pub meal. Scampi and chips and good company. I do love spring.
Thanks to Ian for many of the photographs.
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