This photo has nothing to do with the mountains but everything to do with the wonderful way kids see, they see so bright and quick, full of surprise, and full of emotion, And I guess the point is that we help them see. My grandfather, a man of very few words and hardly any education, taught me to see, he could really see, and his eye sight was very poor.
So we all saw lots of things, clearly little Leo is Seeeing cake mainly. We are doing a faster than guide book time on this mountain walk which I have to say is a very odd thing and must mean that most people in the world today deserve to live in cities and travel underground like worms.
This is a bilberry field, I have never picked bilberries so easily and with so much pleasure, the dog caught on quick too and was begging, we were covered in bilberry stains, mouths like vampires or old drunken dames who had crookedly applied a bad shade of lipstick.
The kids trying to use sticks. We picked up a few bits of litter from townie tourists but in the last few years even hill walkers and climbers are getting bad. There was a good article in an american magazine about this a while ago, and how the new generation need help and teaching. There were even mentoring classes for people coming out of the gyms and taking their first steps in the hills or on the crags.
We shared the mountain with a few hill walkers, thousands of sheep, a few sheep herders who stay up there for months, some mules some donkeys and some horses. The animals didn't leave litter the hill walkers did! There was lots of toilet paper around which attracted the kids attention to piles of human bongo, not nice, not nice at all smeagol.
These are the kids in a little shelter on the mountain where we spent the night, the floor was soft sheep droppings, there were mushrooms growing in the corners, edible ones. Leo is 7 and got to the summit first with me, he was proud of himself.
We had mist and got down next day before torrential rain and thunder. The kids saw some big drops but were more scared of the big horses and mules. In the bivouac we had two donkeys coming in.
We had a chat with one of our village friends who spends three months up there taking care of sheep, he might be one of the last to do this. He is a man very much like my grandfather, few words, but sees everything. He saw the dog on the lead near the sheep and said a quick thank you and told us how we were the first walkers he had seen with the dog on a lead. He told of the dogs being scared way round the mountain and sheep with broken legs.
Anyway seeing is a gift.