“Saunter” – to walk in a slow, relaxed manner
Raphael and I thought we would go for a short walk and explore through the many forests surrounding the village of Kisszékely.
Our route took us past the village dairy farm where we were greeted by lots of friendly speckled cows. Some oblivious to our attentions so just continued to extract the hay by any means possible, even if it meant climbing into the feeder!
My mother used to say “if the cows are sitting down it is going to rain” – my mother has never lived in Hungary!
Raphael, my walking companion was ready and eager to lead the way. On the muddy path we could easily identify that deer had walked that way. The lazy butterfly was oblivious to the muddy surface and my photography!
Our walk took us past many wild hedgerows laden with coloured berries. I have never been tempted to pick berries in the wild as my knowledge is basic but it is improving rapidly.
This rather grubby sign told us what to expect in this area and this walk. We have spotted snakes here before but did not see any on our walk today. We did spot a hawk though.
As we ambled along in the September sunshine we passed a huge sunflower field (Hungary are prolific sunflower growers) ready for cropping and then processing into sunflower oil.
The entrance to the forest drew closer, we walked a little faster eager to get inside.
At last we entered the canopied forest enjoying the cool air and rustling trees.
The forest whispered to itself lightly dropping leaves on our path. We sauntered along chatting and taking photos. Whispers of sunshine cast their shadows through the trees. Raphael turned to me and said “this is the perfect place to have a romantic walk with my girlfriend”. I had to agree.
Exploring is all part of the fun in the forest. Raphael spotted this huge mud pit under the trees. It deserved closer inspection. We agreed it was probably for the wild boar living in the forest.
The fruits of the forest kept giving. Acorns from the huge trees rained down on us whenever there was a sudden gust of wind. I spotted this gentle white wispy flower, later I discovered it was called Clematis Vitalba / Oldman’s Beard. The burst of yellow is Olidago / Goldenrods.
These stunning trees lined our path called Ailanthus Altissima/Tree of Heaven.
All went well until we met a junction with no obvious “right way” so we just kept walking. Raphael, however assured me he knew which way we should go!
Whichever way we chose we were certainly going deeper into the forest….and perhaps a little lost. I was suitably relieved to find somewhere to rest and decide which way next.
After much huffing and puffing and a good deal more walking (and a short stint in the undergrowth) we finally came upon a wondrous sight. A massive clearing came into view and the recognisable grey cattle of the village farmer meant we knew where we were.
What a delight to see a field full of donkey’s all walking over to us, presumably to see if we had brought treats. Sadly, we had not.
Our walk was improving by the minute. Next door to the donkeys live the lamas who were happy to say hello. All these animals belong to the same farmer, on a large expanse of land and appear to be very contented. The farmer also has sheep, goats, horses and water buffalo to my knowledge.
Leaving the fields full of animals behind we continued our journey towards the main road. What a welcoming sight.
Up the hill a little and round the corner to our familiar village sign.
Down the hill, past the lakes with the usual tractor traffic on our way home.
Raphael and I had spent a very pleasant 4 hours walking 5 miles. In spite of getting a little lost the forest was wonderful, as always. I was glad to sit down and have a very British cup of tea.
I am very proud of my walking achievement and thankful to have a good tracker to keep me motivated. In England I never walked 5 miles in a day, but then again I lived in the city and not the countryside. A big bonus for living in rural Hungary.
Do you have a fitbit/tracker to motivate you? Do you enjoy walks in the forest? I would love to hear from you.