Easter on Menorca



Walking walking walking

And I have managed to set up my phone to act as a modem so now I can write here without having to sit in a cafe in the evening

We are off to walk and to swim but soon there will be photos!

The Dog Walking Group

A few months ago a fellow dog walker in the New Park (Park Lledoner is its real name) told me about a group that goes walking with dogs once a month in Sant Pere de Vilamajor.    The walks are organised by the Associacio Vilanimal, an organisation that rescues, cares for and, where possible, rehomes animals around Cardedeu.

I joined the Facebook group and every day am tempted by the faces of lost and abandonned dogs and cats, kittens and puppies. The group is run by dedicated volunteers and they now have a shop in the centre of Cardedeu although they rely on foster carers to look after the animals at home.

Today we went on our first walk.  Everyone met at a car park in Sant Pere de Vilamajor and about 50 people and 30 dogs went for a stroll in the hills in the evening sunshine

One of my favourites was Bruc, a Catalan shepherd dog, who reminded me very much of a bearded collie that I know.  He was full of fresh energy.  He raced up and down the pack, barking wildly and occasionally setting off little battles of wills. We walked for two hours to the sound of his owners voices calling “Bruc Bruc!  Come back here Bruc”

But the only one who could control him was a beautiful Golden Retriever who had taken on the role of Group Marshall and when she snapped at Bruc he would stop his antics, for a few minutes

There was a moment of worry when a small brown dog accompanying a couple with a baby in a sling got overcome with the excitement and the evening heat.  She went into a fit of panting and shaking and had to be carried part of the way home. But in the end she recovered totally and was able to walk to her car

Bonnie was a bit overwhelmed by the crowds and her favourite part was when we stopped by a stream to drink and have a pee and the rest of the group disappeared over the hill. Her tail started to wag and the bounce returned to her step.

She seemed to be saying ‘ thank God we’ve lost that lot…. now we can enjoy our walk’

But I think it did her good in the end as everyone, dogs and people, were friendly and sociable and it is what she needs to help her overcome her recent fears.  And as always she was very popular with everyone she met.     We went for tapas afterwards in Sant Antoni de Vilamajor……………

Dog friendship

Since Duna went to her new forever home in Norfolk, Bonnie has been blossoming in confidence. She has always been a nervy dog and not used to lots of people or noise or traffic. But every day she gets more comfortable with city life here in Granollers. The route through the narrow streets that takes us down to the river is now very familiar and she knows every crossing and corner. When we arrive down at what we call the New Park she is running around as soon as she comes off the lead.

Because she had months of anxiety here when Duna was attacking her in fits of jealousy, Bonnie totally lost trust in other dogs and when we met one in the park she would take a wide circle to avoid them. Azlan the black and white collie was the first who managed to play with her and make friends.
But look at her here with her friend Grace in Cornwall!  She is a friendly dog at heart.

But I noticed yesterday that she has relaxed a whole lot more because when a large brown dog came bounding over, Bonnie stayed put, only stretching out her nose to say hello.

Their subsequent conversation went something like this:

Brown Dog       ‘Hi there, you’re new, can I sniff your bottom?’
Bonnie              ‘OK…… I don’t know why you lot always want to do that’
Brown Dog       ‘Mmmmmmm
Bonnie              ‘That’s enough now – I’m going to have a pee’
Brown Dog       ‘ Me too!’
Bonnie              ‘Hey this patch of grass smells interesting?’
Brown Dog       ‘OH YES!! I like that. Just let me pee on it’
Bonnie               ‘Me too’
Brown Dog        “I’ll have to do another now. Can I sniff you again?
Bonnie               ‘No, that’s enough – leave me alone’
Brown Dog        ‘Are you sure?’
Bonnie               ‘Bugger off I told you!’
Brown Dog        ‘Bye then!’

And so we walked on.

Ordis Cats

It was a sunny afternoon so I prised myself off the sofa where I was quite happy with wine and the newspaper, and walked to Ordis. It is the nearest village and could be described as peaceful, or quiet, or even dead!  I saw noone all the time we wandered around  the streets. the church clock struck one quarter, then two, then three and not a curtain twitched or a door creaked open.
But the best bit of Ordis is the abandonned house where the cats live

There were kittens too

They do seem well and healthy and there were the usual plastic containers lying around showing that someone feeds them all regularly

I am in love with this kitten

If only we could!  I tried to imagine it living in Granollers, with a cat tray on the terrace and a flap in the door leading outside. But what about when we go to the UK?  Who would look after her?  I don’t think I could manage driving up through France with a dog and a cat on leads in the camper van.
I must wait till we live somewhere proper, in the countryside with neighbours who can come in and stroke and feed cats.
On the way home I met another mushroom hunter

That’s the word for it here in the Girona region. People go to caçar bolets.  We had a very long chat in Catalan. If I am honest she did most of the talking and clearly thought I was fluent. I smiled and frowned at all the right places and did understand about 50% but the other half was totally lost on me. She was a lovely woman and lives in Ordis. I was able to ask her about the cats house. Unfortunately I didn’t really understand the answer.
A lovely sky as we got close to home.

Back on the sofa now with wine and the newspaper!

Walking in the woods

It is Friday morning in Sant Nicolau. I took Bonnie for a walk down the lane.
First we met Bob, a great dog who was lost then found his new home here

As we walked further we were joined by Lucy

More and more she reminds me of Blue – her spotty nose and paws, her solid and comforting presence. She and Bonnie have sometimes been a bit suspicious of each other but slowly, given time, they have become, if not yet friends, pleasant companions.
We met a man with a huge basket filled to the brim with mushrooms and then another – same story!

At these moments it is a joy to be able to speak Catalan and have a friendly chat.
Mushroom hunters seem a little like wood workers – friendly quiet spiritual sort of people.
Then we were joined by Paddy and Trixie who bounded out of the woods to find us










Home across the field, smelling the wild rosemary and the thyme

One of the best things about walks in Catalunya – the magnificence of herbs growing along the paths


Back home and Bob was waiting for us