When guests come to stay, Malcolm and I often pore over maps looking for some unexplored – by us – corner of our patch. But in the end, what’s the point? Our visitors aren’t sickly pale wraiths whose jaded walking appetites have to be tempted by novelty. They’re happy with the solid day-to-day fare just a mile or two down the road. To them, in any case, everything is new.
We too are happy to revisit favourite walks. They’re never the same. The changing seasons bring different flowers, different cloud formations. Mountains which perhaps were sparkling bluish-white last time we visited, turn green and purple towards summertime with just the odd small patch of snow near their summits.
Today, then, we went with Christine to visit our old friend Roquefixade, just a few miles away. A steady climb through the juniper-scented woods and along a rocky ridge leads to a ruined château, once far above us, now somewhat below. Here it is. Enjoy the views. We did.