We are still in a state of very much reduced social contacts, only meeting friends occasionally outside. I play golf once or twice a week, but go early when the course is very empty and play by myself. Still fun on a sunny morning, but we look forward to vaccination and a return to normal.
Today we met our friends Val and Rosie at the Mortitx Winery and hiked into the wilderness again, this time on the other side of the Mortitx River towards the cave of the witches. The landscape there is as wild as where we were before, the hike more difficult though due to very dense pampa grass and steep ravines. It was a great day out and we finished it with a little snack on our patio.
We are enjoying quiet days here on Mallorca, meeting only occasionally with friends in restaurants outdoors or on our patios. Today we hiked from the vinery Mortitx to a high plateau close to the ocean, ses Basses. The good path leads through olive groves and then along wild mountains and cliffs. The area is used as breeding ground by Black Vultures and closed from February to July to protect the birds. In November 2008 some Griffon Vultures were blown to Mallorca from the mainland and there are supposedly a few breeding pairs of those here as well.
Two years ago we were on this trail with some friends from Germany and Vancouver and decided to go down to the Mortitx Gorge. Unfortunately, there was too much water in it to go through to the gentle return path and we had to scramble up a steep mountain to get back. Today we bypassed this and enjoyed a nice lunch snack at the field at Ses Basses. The weather was perfect for hiking and we picked up some wine on the way back as well.
We returned to Mallorca and are settled in our usual winter quarters now. Just in time too, as rising Covid rates have resulted in regional and national lockdowns across Europe, some with curfews. Sitting in the sun on the patio should allow us to weather this comfortably. Unfortunately, it looks like we will not have any visitors for the foreseeable future.
We came south again as Sheila has an appointment for follow up in Frankfurt. We are staying in a small village in the Rhenish-Hessian Hills, close to Mainz. Today we enjoyed a sunny morning and hiked for a couple of hours through vinyards and woodlands showing beautiful fall colours. Due to rising Covid infection numbers we have reduced social contacts very much, but visited my parents yesterday (sitting outside with masks on).
We headed north and are spending a good week in East Frisia. The apartment we rent is in an old ferry house (renovated), and quite isolated. The ferry is hand operated by the user, carries people and bicycles across a small tidal canal in front of the house.
We are exploring the surrounding area and spent a nice day today on the island Norderney. The weather is cool, but today was sunny and I walked about 12km while Sheila was exploring the town of Norderney.
This week we are spending time in Freiburg, enjoying the car free inner city and excursions into the neighbouring areas. Yesterday we went into the Black Forest for a short hike and a long lunch. The weather was windy, cold and wet.
Today the weather was much improved and we went to the Kaiserstuhl for a nice hike (and another lunch, this time outside in the sun). On the hike we passed an old castle that sits on a Roman fort built to defend the much fought over border between Romans and Alemanni in the third and fourth century AD.
We are spending a few days in a nice apartment in Bad Vilbel close to Frankfurt. Sheila underwent some neck surgery in Frankfurt two days ago, it all went well and she is back in our place now. There are some nice walks to do here and a couple of good restaurants. Unfortunately, the weather turned rather cool and grey, real autumn.
After a second negative COVID Test we came to the Palatinate and are visiting my parents now. We are staying in a holiday home about 30 min drive away, deep in the woods. Andrea is staying in Siegelbach. Today we all met at our place for a nice lunch and a short walk up the creek behind our house. The creek is quite small, but was used to send logs down to the river Rhine up to about 100 years ago.