06/08/2011

The cliff walk


The weather is turning. There is now more blue than grey in the sky and it looks as though it might get warm later on. That said, we're still avoiding spending time by the beach – yesterday we took the cliff top walk to Aberystwyth, today we're off to visit an Cistercian Abbey: Strata Florida.

The good weather is getting to everyone. Out of the window I just glimpsed an elderly man striding the beach in front of the cottages, a smile on his face and a bottle of rose in his hand.

The walk yesterday was more difficult than we'd anticipated, not because it was long or harduous – the climb was a bit steep at times but always you could walk it, rather than scramble. We're used to scrambling when we walk in Cappadokia. In fact, we're pretty much used to scrambling to the point where we have to go back because it's impossible and we probably took a wrong turn somewhere in the valley. The good thing about cliff walks is that it's fairly obvious where you should go. On the other hand, it's also pretty clear what would happen to you if you took a wrong turn, or if the children took a wrong turn. So it was a little nerve wracking and I pretty much had to drag Max all the way to Clarach (or some such thing) where we decided would be a good place to stop and ask for a lift – a mere four miles from where we started. 




The good thing about having to stick close to Max is that we got to talk about what we saw a lot. I was able to teach him about how we get wool from sheep, and milk from cows which I think he understood. I also tried to explain that we ate the animals but couldn't think how to move his imagination from the large living thing to the plate of chili con carne. It was probably the first time he'd looked at a cow without cowering – he even baaaed at the sheep and moooed at the cows – so I didn't want to add pictures of slaughter to the mix.

We also saw a snail – not just a shell as we find in Ankara, but a living thing, out and about with its little horns poking out. And no, it wasn't the kind we eat, so I didn't bring that up. (I have a vivid memory of Marianne picking up a small yellow snail in our garden, and gobbling it up, thinking it was a sweet – she still loves snails.) We saw a moth with black, red-spotted wings. I wished I had a decent camera, then.



We stopped on a beach by a farm to eat our sandwiches. The farm was huge, resembling a small castle. White, and with a thick wall surrounding it. I thought of the farms I'd seen in Yorkshire, in particular the small pile of grey stone that had once been the inspiration for Wuthering Heights. Yorkshire was on my mind as the friend I'd called to pick us up at the next village had just moved from Leeds where we'd visited in previous years. How convenient, how thougthful of them to move right next door to a place where that is bound to become our new base in the UK. Thank you Hannah and Roger, for making our lives so easy. 


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