A language lover, teacher and writer, I first discovered the Basque Country with the help of an old Ford Escort called Fred, a Spanish-English dictionary, a pair of walking boots and a box of English tea bags. I grew up near Birmingham but spent many years in Copenhagen where finally my passion for languages, maps and mountains rebelled and drove me south! Just before leaving Denmark, I published my first book, 'Freedom to Choose' and - in many respects - the Pyrenean Experience put theory to practice. My memoir, 'In the Footsteps of Smugglers - My Life on a Basque Mountain', to be published in the UK and US by Bradt in summer 2024, pays homage to the amazing shepherds who have stood by me through thick and thin, dug my car out of ditches and helped me raise, simultaneously, my fledgling business and my (bossy) Basque daughter, Marion.
Today we host our house parties together with an amazing team of Spanish-Basque family and friends. Our lives here are closely entwined with the local population, and my neighbours are proud to share their culture with our guests.
A WORD OF WARNING: These holidays are not for everyone! I believe very much in carpa diem. These walking holidays in the Pyrenees are vaguely idiosyncratic - no day is ever the same. I prefer NOT to tie up the week with unnecessary timetables and schedules but to work spontaneously, deciding on the activities according to the weather, my guests' interests, and the friends, locals and festivals we encounter en route.