GR223 MENORCA: 6/7th OCTOBER

After breakfasting like a king at the buffet table in Arenal d’en Castell and a brief chat and info exchange with Birgit who I meet checking out and is going around the Cami de Cavell the other way, I cast a somewhat jealous eye over the holiday makers getting ready for another day poolside, and load up for the trail. 

Just out of town I bump into David, with his thumb out hitching. He said he needed to get down to Es Grau tonight for some reason I couldn’t quite follow. He’s been finding it tough and is carrying a lot of kit. I said I’d see him there if I made it that far. 

I soon entered the Parc Natural de S’ Albufera D’Es Grau with views across the waterways and old salt ponds.  

     The rules as to how to behave were very specific.  

 I think I got the constant pace right and my movements were not too erratic but I’m afraid I cut a swath through the wildlife with my red backpack.  

 The surrounding farmland looked rich with fresh grass or grain appearing after the rains and some strangely coloured rocks.  

       Then the way travelled over a high plain of stones fields and bushes before joining a road to the coast at Cap de Favaritz with its barbershop striped lighthouse.  

   That was a stage end but there were no facilities there or more importantly water. Paddy’s guide said strong walkers could carry on to Es Grau. Red rag to a bull. 

But first a swim to cool off at the lovely cove of Cala de Morella a couple of km further on.  

 Tearing myself away after an hour I had another couple of hours up and down the headlands between coves thankfully some shady paths through scrubs and woods and some open farmland.  

       A lot of the bay’s had thick piles of washed up sea grass and reed flower heads. I wondered if it could be composted or used on the land. By the time I crossed the last bay and Es Grau came into view I was ready for a cold beer and satisfied my need admiring some of the old school architecture.  

     I ran into David again, who was trying to do his video diary and film the sunset so I left him to it and headed for some woods near wetlands and a lake to camp. There were lots of big fish repeatedly jumping out of the water, probably after the mozzies of which there was an abundant supply.  

 After my swollen bites I’m a bit sensitive about mozzies so zipped myself in tight. Unfortunately I kept feeling things land on me and when I turned on the torch was disturbed to find a trillion (at least) ants marching everywhere.  

 The picture does nothing to reveal the true horror of the situation. I couldn’t go out or the mozzies would get me. When panic subsided I realised they weren’t biting so I drew deep on my zen attitude and acceptance and let them crawl over and in everywhere. 

More high acceptance levels were needed in the morning when I rolled my tent up good and tight squashing down hard with my knees….. with my glasses still inside. Well bent with one side open and screw less and a luckily intact lens popped out. 

More rugged coastline down the east coast in the morning sun led me up and down on sandy and rocky paths between little coves often with simple fishermans houses and boathouses.  

       The plant and animal life were colourful and hardy.  

  

    

 I came to the headland at Sa Mesquida  

There were some nice waterfront houses in the little village, there can’t be much of a tide here.  

     From here there was a 5km slog along hard Tarmac followed by a cross city hike. 

  I lost heart after awhile and stuck my thumb out at the only car I’d seen. Nice man from Mao drove me into city centre. 

   

I’d heard from a few people that the next stage, around the southeast corner below the capital was not very nice with one urbanization following another. So I’d decided to get a bus to the next section at Cala n Porter. This would free up enough time to get the boat back to Mallorca from Ciutadella on Saturday night rather than Sunday. After my previous experience with cancelled ferries and a flight first thing Monday morning it seemed prudent.  

 

The short (at bus speed) ride bought me to the resort where I stocked up on food and sat on the beach for a bit 

 before heading up a deep gorge filled with isolated fruit growing fincas.  

 The way lead through shady cliff paths up to higher level ground of small fields and past a water collection and storage structure.  

  

  

 There was a detour to a high point where the Talayotic settlement of Torre d’en Galmes seemed worth the extra effort. And so it was. Unique to MENORCA these enigmatic sites from between 850 and 200 bc are scattered around the island but this one was the nearest to the Cami de Cavalls. The scale was impressive as was the size of the construction stones.  

           I was very taken by the atmosphere of the place and decided to spend the night nearby and watch the stones dissolve into the dark.  

  The few visitors went bit by bit leaving me alone with the ancient stones. Apart from when a man approached me not to tell me to go but to asked if I had seen a couple of geese that had flown off from the neighbouring farm where I had seen some happy free range pigs whose grunting were the only sounds.  

 No mozzies buzzing up there.  

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