Majorca Judith was scheduled to be working in Germany, so I thought I'd sneak off for a bit of winter walking in hopefully sunny Majorca.
Flying Saturday - Judith dropped me off at Gatwick at very-early-in-the-morning for my flight, which was approaching Majorca well before midday. The Badia de Pollenca is visible in the distance.
HPB Biniorella I picked up my hire car and drove the 25 miles to the HPB Biniorella resort at Camp de Mar. As I'd only booked a few days earlier, they only had one property available - a one bed apartment with no views :o( Still, it had a lovely sunny south-facing patio (it's the one with the umbrella up).
Cap Andritxol I popped over to the supermarket in Paguera to stock up on food before heading out for a walk to the nearby Cap Andritxol, which can be seen in the distance here.
Camp de Mar I walked along the pretty sea front in Camp de Mar.
Torre de Cap Andritxol I was soon able to see the tower on Cap Andritxol in the distance.
Torre de Cap Andritxol And here it is from close up.
Camp de Mar View Now that I was well out onto Cap Andritxol, there were super views back to Camp de Mar.
The End So you're walking along and there's another big boulder on the path. You go to step onto and over it when you realise the the path ends rather abruptly and there's a huge drop to the sea! My GPS indicated that it was 558 feet (170m) down to the sea. Yikes! You wouldn't want to tumble off there.
Camp de Mar View Another view of Camp de Mar from near the end of Cap Andritxol.
Fornells I detoured down the east side of Cap Andritxol on the way back, just for the variety of it. There were nice views across the bay to Santa Ponsa.
View North There was a nice view looking to the north.
Torre de Cap Andritxol Torre de Cap Andritxol (where I was earlier) was still just visible in the distance behind me.
Camp de Mar Walking back through Camp de Mar, there wasn't much going on at the restaurant on the rock. In fact there wasn't much going on anywhere in Camp de Mar, which was almost completely deserted.
Beer There were slim beer pickings in the supermarket, so I went retro with Corona.
Sunset Although I didn't have a view from my apartment, I was still treated to a rather nice sunset.Distance walked today - 5.1 miles (8.2 km)Ascent today - 1,293 feet (394 m)Descent today - 1,293 feet (394 m)
Walking Sunday - I'd driven to somewhere a couple of miles west of s'Arraco for the start of my first proper walk of the week. The trail started out in shady woodland.
Hill My GPS trail indicated that I was probably headed up that hill in the distance.
Goat The last time I was in Majorca, the only wildlife I saw all week was one goat. So I thought I'd best take a photo of this one, just in case it was the only one I saw.
A Tree I thought it looked quite nice, standing on its own.
Lone Tree View There were great views to the east from the lone tree.
Lone Tree View There were also great views to the south.
Trail Marker Part of my route was on GR221, the main hiking trail on Majorca. GR221 is pretty well marked, but it's just about the only trail on Majorca that is.
Coast Finally I made it to the coast, were there were fabulous views to the north.
Mirador Josep Sastre There's a great view of the island of Dragonera from Mirador Josep Sastre. The last time I came this way (a couple of years ago) visibility at this point was very poor and I couldn't see anything at all, so it was nice to be here on such a clear day.My GPS indicated that the view point is 1,467 feet (447m) above the sea. It's no wonder it's such a good view!
La Trapa A while later I got my first view of La Trapa, which looked relatively busy. Aparently a lot of locals walk up here at the weekend.
La Trapa Super views.
Col View There was a nice view as I crossed over the col on my way back to my car. On the way down I must have passed fifty or more people who were on their way up.
MPV Conversion Got an MPV, but fancy having a convertible pickup truck instead? No worries. Convert it yourself. That probably hasn't done much for its structural rigidity though.A short while later I was back at my car. Drove home for some lunch.
Cala en Cranc After lunch I decided to pop out for a walk close to my apartment to see some of the local sights. On the road outside the resort there's a sign to the beach "Cala en Cranc", so I thought I'd go and have a look at that. Unfortunately the actual path to the beach appeared to have been dug up by some property developers and it looked like people had been using this unlikely looking gully as an alternate route.
Cala en Cranc I carefully picked my way to the bottom of the gully, where there was a small beach of sorts.Left in search of the nicer beach at Cala Blanca.
Cala Blanca A pleasant half an hour's walk away was Cala Blanca, which was altogether much more agreeable. As I had the place to myself I hung around for a while to admire the view.
Roads On the way back to my apartment, I detoured into a network of abandoned roads. It looks like someone had grand plans for property development in this area that never happened. So the roads are there, and you can drive on (most of) them, but no-one ever does.
Roads Which makes for a super hiking trail.
Judith Judith's trip to Germany was cancelled, so she hopped on (almost) the first flight to Majorca. I drove to the airport to pick her up.Distance walked today - 12.8 miles (20.6 km)Ascent today - 3,324 feet (1,013 m)Descent today - 3,324 feet (1,013 m)
Galatzo Monday - I drove half an hour north for the start of a trail up the 1,097m high peak called Galatzo. There was no car park, so I just left my car on the side of the road.
Trail Again, the trail started in shady woodland...
Trail ...but it soon climbed out of the trees into this largely shadeless scrubland.
Trail Still, at least it was a good trail to follow.
Goats Having only seen one goat all week the last time I visited Majorca, there are many in this one photo. How many can you see? I reckon there are fourteen.
Galatzo Galatzo loomed ahead of me, but it was tricky to get a decent photo as I was looking right into the sun.
Shrink Wrapped My bag of trail snacks had shrink wrapped itself!
Signpost A rare and handy signpost pointing the way to the top.
Galatzo View The views got better the higher I got.
Selfie A camera-balanced-on-a-rock selfie.
Selfie And another one.
Puig de Galatzo Finally at the top. Yay. The last bit was really challenging as the trail was very hard to follow across the rocks and some scrambling/gentle climbing was required.
Puig de Galatzo Another view from the top.
Down A selfie of me walking away into the distance on the way down. Obviously I then had to go back to retrieve my camera. Doh!
Weird Woods On the way down I walked though these weird woods.
Sign Well that's reassuring. Not!
Collapse I'm glad I wasn't around when that happened. And by the look of it, another huge chunk of the cliff above the path wasn't far from breaking away too. No dawdling around here then.
Sea and Sky It almost looks like this boat is floating in the sky. I'm not actually sure where the horizon is. The slightly darker band about a quarter of the way down the photo that looks like it might be cloud I think is actually still the sea. But it's hard to tell.
Estelencs Having returned safely to my car, I drove a couple of miles further north (away from home) to the pretty little town of Estelencs, where my guide book said there was a short walk down to the sea.This is a view of Estelencs on the way down to the sea.
Trail The trail was actually just a very narrow road, just wide enough for one car.
Cala Estelencs After not very long at all I arrived at Cala Estelencs, which was quite pretty, but there wasn't much to do there.
Sea The sea was a beautiful colour.
Valley View Then it was just a case of walking back up the other side of the valley to my car.
Estelencs Walking through the narrow streets of Estelencs on the way back to my car.Distance walked today - 10 miles (16.1 km)Ascent today - 3,278 feet (999 m)Descent today - 3,278 feet (999 m)
Walking Tuesday - I was doing a trail that the book described as "challenging", mainly because access to the original start of the trail was disputed so they'd devised a new start section that was apparently hard to follow. Turned out it was so hard to follow that I couldn't even find it. So I ended up just following the only trail that I could see on my GPS, which I think was the original trail as it didn't match any of the trail notes I had for the new one. Fortunately I didn't see any "no entry" signs so I just pressed on.It's not obvious from this photo, but the start of the trail was, as well as being very rocky, also very steep! I was very much looking forward to not having to come back this way (as the walk was circular).
Plateau After an hour or so I popped out onto the plateau. The guide book said to follow a "faint trail". What "faint trail" would that be then?! There was just rock and a bit of greenery. Fortunately I was able to use my GPS to keep going in the right general direction, regardless of where the actual trail was or was not.
Fire Lookout Nice view though. In the far distance, on the top of the peak on the left, you can just make out the fire lookout, which was where my "faint trail" was heading. So at least that was something to aim for.
Fire Lookout And here it is from close up. By the looks of things, it can get quite windy up here.
Andratx View From the fire lookout there was a nice view down to Andratx, where my car was parked (can't see it though).
Port Andratx View Looking to the south I could see all the way to Port Andratx on the coast.
"Rough but distinct trail" So, from the fire lookout my guide book said to follow a "rough but distinct trail". I would definitely agree with "rough", but "distinct". Er, no. I was starting to get quite annoyed now.
Prohibido El Paso Although not half as annoyed as I was when I came to this. It had been a nightmare getting this far and now I faced the prospect of having to turn around and retrace my nightmare steps for two hours. Blx to that.
Gully Having perused the map for a few minutes, I noticed a trail down a gully that appeared to go pretty much directly to Andratx, so I headed down that. As you can see from the photo, it wasn't exactly easy going, being both rocky and steep. But at least I could see it.
Fence After about half an hour I came across this fence at the bottom of the gully. My heart sank when I saw it. But it turned out there was an unlocked gate in it and no signs saying I couldn't enter. Phew and yay! To be fair, by this point I was so fed up that I would have probably just smashed it with rocks if it had been locked.
Andratx Minutes later and I was on the edge of Andratx, mere minutes from my car. Woo hoo!
HPB Biniorella I returned to my apartment for some lunch before heading out to further explore the abandoned network of roads nearby.Here's a view of the HPB Biniorella resort from nearby. The last time we stayed here we had one of those lovely top floor terraces, which have super views.
Abandoned Roads The further you got from the actual main road, the worse was the condition of the abandoned roads.
Abandoned Roads However, they all still seemed to have pavements (now quite covered with rocks and sand) and the foundations for street lighting.
Path to Port Andratx It turned out that most of the network of abandoned roads was closed off with barriers and no entry signs, so I headed for Port Andratx instead. I spent a few minutes walking on this rough trail...
Path to Port Andratx ...before completing the two mile walk on narrow paved roads like this.
Port Andratx There wasn't much going on in Port Andratx and almost all of the bars and restaurants were closed.
VW Just thought this looked cool.
Camp de Mar View I saw this view of Camp de Mar and Cap Andritxol on the way back to my apartment.
Sunset Later, I walked down to the seafront in Camp de Mar to watch the sunset, but the sun had disappeared behind the distant cape some time ago. Still looked quite nice though.Distance walked today - 9.4 miles (15.1 km)Ascent today - 2,198 feet (670 m)Descent today - 2,198 feet (670 m)
Sant Elm Wednesday - It occurred to me that I'd walked down the hill from La Trapa three times now, but I'd never actually walked up it, always approaching from some other angle. So I thought I would fix that today.I parked in Sant Elm...
Woods ...before heading off into the woods for the start of the trail.
Climb to La Trapa It didn't take long to get to the climb. There were a lot of people walking up here on Sunday when I was walking down, but on this day it was almost completely deserted. I only passed two people on my way up.
La Trapa From the col I could see down to La Trapa and it didn't look like there was anyone there at all.
Cloudy There were a few clouds around (for pretty much the first time this week) and there was an occasional stiff breeze coming in off the sea. If you were in the sun and out of the wind it was lovely, but if you were out of the sun and in the wind it was positively chilly.
La Trapa View Furtunately the sun was out by the time I got to La Trapa.
La Trapa View
La Trapa Bergkamm From La Trapa I headed along the coast to what is shown on my map as La Trapa Bergkamm, where there is this super view.Right in the middle of the photo you can just about make out a tower. That's the Torre de Cala en Basset and is where I was headed next.
Signpost There were trails all over the place in this area, so it was nice to have a few sign posts to keep me moving in the right direction.
Decisions, decisions At one point the path forked and it wasn't obvious whether I should head left or right. Until I spotted the 15 foot long rock arrow on the ground pointing up the left fork. Doh!
Torre de Cala en Basset Lovely view from the Torre de Cala en Basset.
Torre de Cala en Basset The view looking back to La Trapa from the Torre de Cala en Basset.At this point I headed back to my car and went home for some lunch.
Peguera After lunch I decided to walk to Peguera to have a look around the trail park just to the north of the town.
Peguera There were nice views of Peguera as the trail climbed steeply into the hills.
Camp de Mar Looking west, there were also nice views over to Camp de Mar (where my apartment was).
Puig de Garrafa Looking to the north there was a super view over to Puig de Garrafa. That's the plateau where I had that nightmare walk yesterday. It looks quite daunting from this side (I walked up/down it from the other side).
Puig de Garrafa If I zoom my camera right in, about a quarter of the way along the plateau from the right, I can just make out the fire lookout that I walked to.Anyway, time to head home.Distance walked today - 11.5 miles (18.5 km)Ascent today - 3,110 feet (948 m)Descent today - 3,110 feet (948 m)
Reprise Thursday - Today I'd decided to reprise my favourite walk of the week so far - the one I did on Sunday. However, for a bit of variety I'd decided to walk it in reverse today. Also, I was only going to take photos of interesting things as the scenery would be the same as Sunday.There was no-one else out and about when I parked my car.
Sunrise Not really sunrise. That had been about 90 minutes earlier. But the sky still looked pretty cool.
Mirador Josep Sastre I didn't actually get a photo of the mirador itself on Sunday as there were a group of walkers having their lunch in this spot.
"Tony Hart" View This was the most "Tony Hart" view that I saw all week.
Insanity On the madly rocky and uneven trails, my high topped hiking boots were saving me from breaking my ankles probably half a dozen times a day. And yet somehow these guys were running in trainers!!! I wouldn't have thought you'd be able to do that for more than, oh, a minute before causing yourself a serious injury.
Insanity I mean, look at it. It's tough enough to walk on in boots, never mind run on in trainers. Good grief.
Camp de Mar Walk done (I did say I wasn't going to take many photos), I had a wander down into Camp de Mar in the afternoon sunshine. This is one of the resort's pools.
Camp de Mar The seafront.
Camp de Mar The beach. It would be interesting to see how busy this gets in the summer. At least there would be somewhere to get a beer on a lovely sunny afternoon.
La Tulipe In the evening, Judith and I went to the nearby La Tulipe for a very nice dinner. It looks empty because everyone else was sitting in the conservatory, which is out of sight on the right.Distance walked today - 9.1 miles (14.7 km)Ascent today - 1,926 feet (587 m)Descent today - 1,926 feet (587 m)
The 'Burbs Friday - Last full day and my feet were feeling a bit tired so I decided to finish with a shortish walk that started in the suburbs of Port Andratx. So I left my car on a residential street amongst super posh looking villas and headed into the hills.
Valley The walk was basically down this valley to the sea and back, but in a loop. You can just make out the trail winding down to the sea.
Cala D'egos After an hour or so I arrived at the pretty Cala D'egos.
Cala D'egos There was a nice view of Cala D'egos as the trail climbed back up into the hills.
Lunch Back home, Judith and I went for lunch in the resort's restaurant...
Walking ...before walking to Port Andratx...
Port Andratx ...where we had a second liquid-only lunch :o)
Little Egret? Just next to where we were sat, this Little Egret (I think that's what it was) was fishing.
What's That? Later, walking home, we spied something interesting through a tiny gap in a fence. But what could it be?
Renault 4 It's an apparently fairly well preserved Renault 4 parked in a field.Distance walked today - 8.9 miles (14.3 km)Ascent today - 1,834 feet (559 m)Descent today - 1,834 feet (559 m)
Airport Saturday - Going home day. But thanks to the British Airways sale I had a Business Class ticket, which got me into the pleasant Valldemossa Lounge at the airport. Judith, not wanting to miss out, treated herself to the same.
Pyrenees Snow on the Pyrenees.
Ship The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. But there's still loads and loads of space.
Isle of Wight We even got a nice view of The Needles on the Isle of Wight. We had super weather all week and I had a great time walking (apart from that horrible walk I did on Tuesday).Total distance walked this week - 66.8 miles (107.5 km)Total ascent this week - 16,963 feet (5,170 m)Total descent this week - 16,963 feet (5,170 m)Oh, and I drove my petrol powered Seat Lean 194 miles (312 km) and it returned 51.6 mpgs, which I thought was very impressive considering all of the driving I did on mountain roads.
Flowers The remaining pictures in this gallery are of flowers that I spotted while I was out and about. Although peak flower season in Majorca isn't until May (I think), there were still a fair few nice ones to be seen.
Flowers Same as the previous one.
Flowers Close-up of the previous one.
The End That's all folks!