GR221 MALLORCA: 28/29th SEPTEMBER

They say history has a habit of repeating itself and I certainly suffered from Deja Vu as I staggered up the trail out of Deia into the blue sky and dehydrating heat yesterday. It could as well have been 8 months ago when a similar scenario played out on the Camino Mozarabe. The common ground between events was 3 days hard partying and the debilitating effect it has on a 60yr old hiking body. 

Ah well, mustn’t grumble, no gain without pain and what goes up must come down. Best thing to do is sweat it out… So I did. I’m sure the toxic droplets burned themselves into the limestone as I climbed on narrow tracks between villas old and new.  

 

  High above the rugged coast.  
 Some of the ancient terrace walls were tumbling over but I did pass a 4 man crew who were working on restoring a section so they hopefully will survive another few centuries.  

   This section between Deia and Soller or Muleta was well signed and fairly gentle so was popular with day trippers who I did my best to shield from the toxic sweat.  

 The hills became well wooded again with sitges or charcoal burning sites and impressive cobbled tracks leading down to Soller. 

     The largest town on route so far the main square had the tram way to the port and a wooly tree.  

     Although at the end of the day’s stage I had decided to carry on for a few hours. The forecast was for thunderstorms so I wanted to cover what ground I could in the dry. The dryness was relative of course as I was still dripping. More toxins to shed yet. 

The climbing began pretty quickly and lasted for 10km. At Biniaraix I passed a lovely wash  house but the bar where I had hoped to get supplies was shut. Luckily there was an abundance of Fuentes so I was able to stock up on water before heading up the Baranc de Biniaraix, a fantastic example of cobbled and buttressed trail climbing to over 800 m through countless terraces. So fantastic in fact that it’s designated a site of cultural interest.  

   

   
 

   
 Finally reaching beyond the olives and entering wilder holm oak country I looked back in wonder at some of the old houses that have been restored in this place hours of hiking from anywhere.  

  

 It had been spitting with rain and grumbling with thunder while I had climbed the countless steps and I was glad to get to flatter ground with its possibility of a tent pitch. There was an unmanned refuge ahead but still a couple of hours away and after 8 hours of effort I was ready to rest. There had been a no acampar sign and another warning of big game shooting and not to leave the trail so when I found a discreet little spot I made an effort at camouflage.  

   And so with a very nearly full moon shining through the canopy above and the constant jingle jangle of a hundred sheep bells ringing around the surrounding peaks I fell into fitfull sleep. The animals were not bothered by the tent and binged and bonged right up to me in the night. I couldn’t imagine what they were eating.  

 The morning broke clear and dry and I headed still higher up into the limestone gryikes and groines, or whatever they’re called.  

 

  Whilst peering at the landscape below( that’s Port de Soller in the sunshine) I heard the clattering of a helicopter and could then see it circling around high up the Baranc de Biniaraix. A little later as I headed down the more open level valley towards the , fairly dry, reservoir at Cuber it came roaring overhead and then continued to make dozens of delivery runs with building materials, wether for the trail or the houses I couldn’t say.  
     Approaching the little refuge I past a little shed sporting a sign designed to keep the campers out. Pretty successfully I would think.   

  There were a lot of trees planting in protective netting which made for interesting sheep eaten topiary.  

 I stopped at the refugi for a rest and watched the groups of walkers coming down from the main road.  

   

It looked pretty busy which decided me to take the less used more rugged route which involved a head for heights and nimble agility. Pushing it in my condition.  

   There was, yet again, a whole load of climbing of steep zig zag paths only to go down steep zig zag paths. Passing a chopper that hadn’t made it on the way.  

   A lot of tiring scrambling along around and over and then came the tricky part.  

    Lengths of chain fixed to the sheer cliff to cling to.  

 The landscape was dramatic and after more ups and downs the Tossal Verds refugi roof came into view.  

    Soon I was down there admiring the flowers, water tank and building that contained bed, shower and food and drink.  

   

   
 

   
 So far I have a room to myself and I may have a lie in. The forecast is for heavy rain on the morning so I might put off moving till as late as possible as tomorrow’s route is the highest and most rugged of the route. 

Could be a world of pain out there. 

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2 comments

  1. Travelling well father. Hope the celebration wear and tear doesn’t impact you too much. Nice craftsmanship on the route, I expect some good stonework next time I’m in Hollymount

    Like

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