There's a field, high in magic mountains, a field where I first glimpsed wolves gliding over feet deep snow in a blizzard at dawn, a field forever etched into my soul, a field where the wild in me was reawakened and would never go back to sleep.
It's not an easy hike up to this place, about 3 miles in total and a climb of some 2500 feet from the valley floor.
The hike takes you up through dense Beech, Oak and Ash woods teaming with bird-life and a hundred unseen eyes peering down upon the intruders to their world. As the two readers of my previous blog will know, the last time I was here I narrowly avoided death by Wild Boar, ok so maybe this is a slight exaggeration - but it could have happened. With Wild Boar lurking in these woods, some the size of your kitchen tables, I wasn't going to run the same high risk trekking strategy as employed last time. This time I was prepared for anything this wilderness could throw at me, this time I bought with me. . . .ATTACKDAWG®
The hunted were now the hunters. Attackdawgs are known to avoid 90% of near death Wild Boar encounters just by their ferocious demeanor ( I have purposely posted a photo not showing her face so as not to give anyone nightmares)..
So we wound our way up the track, with the sound of the river coarsing along the valley floor, and clanks of the cattle bells far below us. The day was perfectly still and warm in the Autumn sunshine. Around every turn and over every rise there is a chance of glimpsing wildlife before it hears you and vanishes off into the shelter of the woods.
The rest of the hike up was fairly uneventful with Attackdawg® maintaining her 100% death free trekking record , although our usual watering hole had run dry with the very dry Summer and Autumn they had had so far.
Once at the top the views are spectacular, these are some of the most unspoilt wild mountains in Europe. Everything about them breaths magic, and the animals that inhabit them are magic. Wolves and bears tread these lands, but with the greatest secrecy most will never see. They are at the top of this pyramid that cascades its way down through evolution and it is a perfect example of how nature works without the interfering poison hand of man. These mountains were once one of the last refuges for Wolves and Bears when they had been mostly eradicated from the majority of modern Europe, and with there vastness and terrain you can appreciate why as you stand and breath them all in.
These are lands we need to protect alongside the magical animals that live and die on these slopes, a place far away from modern humanity, a place where our souls were born, and a place where souls can be restored to their natural balance.