Thursday, 15 October 2009

St Jean de Luz kindergarten

A friend from St Jean de Luz seconded me into babysitting duties today. Rather than sit around playing a game or watching a movie I took her children for a walk up the nearby mountain, La Rhune. After packing a wee picnic we set forth carrying two sets of binoculars in search of monsters and dragons. I quickly realised that children have significantly more energy than adults, I was exhausted by the time we got onto the hill proper.

The mountain is exactly the shape a child would draw: conical with jagged rocky edges. The weather was fine and we made good progress. Autumn has finally arrived and the trees offered a magnificent display of burnt reds and oranges. Butterflies flitted by readying themselves for winter, gathering sustenance and seeking shelter.
La Rhune is home to an abundance of wild ponies. They are very inquisitive creatures. They are also plentiful, I had expected to perhaps see one or two, I counted at least twenty. I fear I may have caused a problem by proclaiming they were the dragons we were seeking, the youngest of the children was very tearful and hid behind me whenever a pony came near. I was a little wary and made sure we kept in front of them, they looked like they pack quite a kick.

The views from the mountain are terrific. On one side the Atlantic stretches into the distance. with the coastal towns of Biarritz, St Jean de Luz and Hendaye clinging to the edge of its shores. On the other side the Pyrenees rise into the skies. It is quite a breathtaking contrast.

We walked close to the message that was burned into the mountain-side demanding that the authorities resist ruining the landscape by building a tunnel straight through the mountain. How anyone could even contemplate destroying this astounding beauty is beyond me. I just hope that the demonstration in Bayonne this Saturday makes those in power think again.
The Basque country continues to surprise me, it is one of the most beautiful regions on earth. We returned home safely to hot chocolate and cookies, but no sign of any monsters.

Basque of the day:- beauty :: edertasun