The Uttlesford Ramblers

Making a walk a pleasure

Walking in Mallorca April 2017
 

In April 2017 Uttlesford Ramblers ventured abroad for the second time spending a week walking in the north of Mallorca. A group of eighteen stayed in the beautiful resort of Port Pollensa again in the care of John and Carolyn of Balearic Outdoor Holidays. The hotel was directly across the road from the beach with some lucky enough to see the beautiful views of the sea from their rooms. The first evening we enjoyed a tapas meal at a local restaurant that also gave us chance to meet the other guests on the holiday.

The next day the weather started perfectly with a clear blue sky and after a short coach ride to the small coastal resort of Cala San Vicente we were dropped at the start of the walk. Here we were introduced to Cassie who would be our backup driver of the minibus and supplier of drinking water for the week. After topping up water bottles and collecting walking poles from Cassie we set off uphill in the sun, stopping to enjoy the lovely views across the sea. The walk became more difficult as it descended down a steep dry river bed back towards Port Pollensa but became easier as we skirted the edge of the town. The second stage took us up a valley towards the Tramuntana Mountains again with stunning views as we walked to the rocky bay at Cala Boquer. After a short break we walked back to the town to enjoy a well-earned lunch at Maxim’s (a place we came to know quite well by the end of the week!).

The second day’s walk saw a longer coach trip right into the mountains to the monastery at Lluc. Here the circular walk started with a steep rocky climb, continuing through woods, until taking a break for tea & coffee in the shade. The walk continued with the first meeting of a Mallorcan ladder stile across a stone wall which involved climbing up and down a ladder with narrow footholds with wide spaces between and no flat part at the top to help with turning round!. This slowed down our progress quite a bit but after everyone was safely over we had learned the best technique ready for the next time. The rest of the walk was uneventful as we came to a view point and were rewarded with a stunning view back to the monastery in the distance. We returned back to the start with an interesting lunch at the restaurant, with many taking advantage of goat being on the menu. The drive back to the hotel allowed us to enjoy the spectacular views again along the winding (and often cliff edge!) road.

The third day saw us a bit nearer home again with a short trip to the Formentor peninsular where at the start of the walk we were introduced to Enrique who was to be our guide for the day giving John and Carolyn a chance to take things a bit easier. The walk took us along some rocky paths and through woods again using several Mallorcan type ladder stiles to negotiate over stone walls. The effort was all worthwhile as we finished this part of the walk at a gorgeous little bay at Cala Murta where we stopped for a break. Enrique took some on a short walk to a view point while others just had a leisurely coffee break. The walk continued after a surprise meeting with a couple of donkeys, to another lovely view at the Cala Figuera where we stopped and enjoyed a picnic lunch in the sun. Enrique thought we would like to take part in a slightly more challenging walk as he guided up a steep, rocky path to where the coach was waiting for us, a rather more arduous climb than the gently stroll down! In the evening we again enjoyed our meal at Maxim’s.

With no walks arranged for Wednesday we went our separate ways, some hiring a car or taking the bus to go on a sightseeing tour, some walking around the local market and some just enjoying sitting by the pool. We all met up in the evening for dinner (or supper as the locals call it) at the Restaurant Siurell just around the corner to the hotel.

We were in for a shock the next day with a sudden, if not entirely unexpected, change in the weather. Breakfast was taken with a view of the sea pounding the beach and rain pouring down; even John didn’t have his shorts on. Meeting in the hotel lobby waiting for the coach John gave us the plan for the day which was to still go for the walk but this would be at a faster speed and we would return to the hotel for our picnic lunch as the rain was not forecast to stop until later in the day. We took the short coach trip to the outskirts of Cala San Vicente where we again met Enrigue and started the cold wet climb up a rocky path to a cave where we took shelter for our coffee stop. There was a big cheer for Cassie when she arrived as she had run back not long after we had started to collect the milk! No great views from here just the misty sight of Port Pollensa in the distance. The return journey was no better with the wind and rain lashing into our backs so some took up the offer of Carolyn driving us back to the hotel in the minibus with a few mad people choosing to continue the rest of the walk. The rest of the day was spent drying out boots and clothing in various fashions including turning on the oven and opening the door, turning up the air conditioning to its highest temperature or putting things in the sauna! We spent the evening again at Maxim’s with John providing a minibus ferry service for those who didn’t fancy getting wet again.

The last day of walking saw the weather returning to a more favourable temperature but it was still windy with the sea anything but calm. We travelled the farthest distance by coach to Sant Pere for the level walk back to Can Picafort along the coast on sandy beaches and well defined paths. A very civilised coffee break was taken, courtesy of John and Carolyn, at a local café on the way back to lunch at the Yacht Club in Can Picafort. The final evening was spent on the roof top terrace of the hotel chatting with friends old and new with a glass or two of wine (minus the bottle of red John managed to drop) and a collection of nibbles donated by all.

The week had flown by and even with the odd spot of rain we all agreed that again a holiday abroad had been well worth it but there was no rush of volunteers to arrange the next one. With two weekends away already planned to Nottinghamshire this October and Somerset next spring there is plenty of time to arrange something for September or October 2018.

Who knows where we will go next!

Sylvia Hayes

Publicity Co-ordinator

Uttlesford Ramblers

Thursday, August 16, 2018