Costa Brava cliff top walk ... and the hermit crab derby ...

This afternoon Emi and I headed off with the Wonder Dog for a last walk along our favourite cliff top path. I've written about it before, but it's such a joy I could wander happily along it every day of my life and never get bored. The sea changes every day, and the cliff tops are home to a rich array of plants and animals. Every time we venture up there we find something new.

This is where we started, up above the port just behind our home.

There was a light breeze catching the sails of the yachts that were scooting around on the water.

We walked gingerly around the cacti, admiring their magnificent flowers.

Then we met this handsome chap. The Wonder Dog realised at once that he was out-classed by that magnificent beak and passed on by as meekly as a lamb, without uttering a single woof. And even though we were quite close the seagull held his corner; he wasn't even slightly afraid of us.

Then we saw these chaps all moored up and having a whale of a time exploring the rocks. Emi was impressed; he made big plans that involve him and the Wonder Dog setting out to sea in a two-man canoe. 

On we went, down into a slight depression where the wild-life was a little more sheltered from the breeze, and then we came upon a host of these lovely fellows ...

... who were enjoying all the floral loveliness. As you walk along you brush against wild rosemary and lavender. Their fragrance mixes with the wonderful smell of the pine trees, baking in the sun. It's a treat for all the senses.

We had to be careful not to trip over the roots of the great Costa Brava pine trees which hold the cliffs together. They've got a habit of snaking around and catching you unawares when you're concentrating on something else.

We carried on past the strange dead tree that we think looks a bit like a Native American totem pole.

And then we dropped down to our very favourite cove. It's our secret place, where no one else goes. It's got crystal clear water, great big boulders and some of the best rock pools in the area. Let's just say its a little bit perfect.

And this is where our friends, the hermit crabs, hang out. There are hundreds and hundreds of them chilling out in the shallows.

We have hermit crab races. It's a tricky business spotting form in hermit crabs. Sometimes the titchiest little critters have the fiercest ambitions, and chose the biggest, grandest shells. 

I always assume that the big-shell guys will motor on fastest, but my theory often bombs when an aspiring, upwardly mobile type seizes a huge shell that he really struggles to move.

Emi loves rock pooling. It's his favourite thing. And he's brilliant at spotting the little chaps who live in the water. I'm blind, and, until someone actually puts them in my bucket for me, I'm a bit hopeless at spotting them.

There's always a little bit of a debate about whether or not he can adopt one or two of the crabs as his pets, but deep down he knows and respects the rule that everything must go safely back into the sea. We said good bye to our little chums and gently plopped them back in the water, promising to come and visit them again soon.

Distracted by the yacht that had just sailed into view, and the thought of the ice cream waiting for us back at home, we made our way back up to the cliff top.

Again we marvelled at those amazing roots that are doing a great job of holding this whole cliff together.

And then we noticed the brave folk who were scaling the sea cliff.

And young Emi added another chapter to that big plan of his involving the Wonder Dog and a two-man sea canoe.

Thankfully I was able to distract him with a double ration of ice cream when we got home - before he added any more death-defying feats to his plan.

All the best for now,

Bonny x