My hair is like a birds nest on top of my head. The words are whisked away from my mouth before I even realise I have spoken. But the sun still beats down on me making the wind that’s whipping my skin seem not so bad. It’s late September and I am walking the boardwalk between Vila Nova de Gaia and Espinho in North Portugal and I can see why this area is popular with kite surfers.
Imagine being told that you had to leave your home. That the land that had been in your family for centuries was going to generate hydroelectric power and reduce flooding in the surrounding area. The forfeit for this was that your home was going to be underwater for years to come. This is what happened to the villagers of Riaño (or Riano if you can’t find the ñ on your keyboard) and six other villages located in the Cantabrian mountains, the foothills of Picos de Europa in Northern Spain.
On a warm sunny day in September, what more can you want, than to be sat up on top of the world, with buzzards circling above and eating a cheese and pickle sandwich. Breathing in the cool mountain air whilst looking out over the spectacular view with limestone cliffs, jutting out into the sky, I am sat on the edge of the PR-PNPE15 path in the Picos de Europa, Spain, which literally translates to the peaks of Europe. I can hear the soothing sounds of the cow bells, from the herd down in the valley below.
As I walked along the well worn trail through the valley, my eyes couldn’t help but look around in amazement at all the doorways cut into the rock. Abandoned homes and chapels that once was full of life. I’m hiking the Red and Rose Valley in Cappadocia.
I love exploring new places, climbing into empty spaces, not knowing what amazing things you will find inside. This hike is perfect for this. Exploring the caves and discovering amazing views out over the valley from small windows carved into the rock. Each home is a reminder of this ancient and mysterious time.
As a sea eagle circled above me carrying a sea snake in its talons, I breathed in the fresh sea air. I am hiking along the top of the sea cliff with amazing views all around. I feel like I am on a deserted island. However, this is not some island out in the wilds of the sea. I am sea breeze hiking in Goa with Adventure Breaks between two of Goa’s most northern beaches, and I’m heading towards Karma jungle. A place I have heard about from many a traveller.