Monday, May 25, 2015

Menorca, now quite some time ago.

I shouldn't really be writing this now,  cause I have a 'to do' list that truly frightens me, but, if I don't do it now, I never will......and I really want to get this posted.

Quite some time ago now, I got the chance to go to Menorca with a couple of friends to do the 'Cami de Cavalls' which is a walking/biking (really hard core parts of that) or horse riding route that goes right around the island.

I thought we were going to do it on the super cheap and camp out, but it turns out that my fellow travelers were a keen on hotels, fortunately it was quite off season so that wasn't too bad.  Unfortunately I made a very poor shoe choice, one's I have been wearing for a year and that are super comfortable, but boy, they were not meant for walking.  It turned out to be quite a painful march for me, but the pain of the whole thing disappears from the memory and the place is amazing.

We started off flying into Mao, but caught a cab out and a little way up the coast, about 7K to avoid having to walk through the city on the first day, we started a little late, as we flew in that day and had about 50K to go.  We started in Sa Mesquita, which was lovely, as you can see below and started around the island from there counter clockwise.

This symbol was to become our friend over the journey!

The countryside looked startlingly Scottish, but as none of us have actually gone there, that was based more on photos, but harsh, bushy, stone walls.  The other amazing thing was that the entire island was in bloom, it was like an aromatherapy walk.  Every breath, honestly, every breath smelt like a different flower.  It was unbelievably spectacular.

There are some marshlands that we went out to see as well, fascinating.

And bay after bay after bay

The north coast was hilly and remote and dry and hot and beautiful.  We swam as you may imagine, but we also had long distances to cover as there is really no where to stay if you don't want to sleep out, which is technically illegal, but so much of this is so remote (relatively speaking, on an island that is 60 square Km bigger than Toronto!) no one would find you, especially as it was off season.

Section 6 did a number on us, we had to carry a lot of water as we had 45 K to go, also we were ladened by the accumulated km from the day before and our frankly not well trained bodies!  6 did a number on us.  I simply overheated.  WAY too hot, we were running out of water, one of my toenails was lifting off, the entire thing, down inside the toe too.  Didn't know it could do that.  No photos, seemed too gross to show.

We didn't make the whole distance, rather we caught a cab in Cala Morell down to Ciutadella. 

My friends walked through from Ciutadella, but most of it was suburban and my feet were tooooo tender to waste mileage on that...I caught a bus!  1.50 and I was down on the south coast.  Sooo Bahamian!

There were also a lot of bunkers, military bunkers that were left on the island from one or another of the many invasions.  I have to say that I found these fascinating.

Later, when we paused for a swim, look who we saw!  There were horses everywhere as there is a big festival that involves horses rearing up and people running under them, so the horses were being trained.  

We also went to see some truly gigantic caves, bigger than cathedral high...they didn't go very deep and there were very few formations...this is about the only one, as it was mined so they are regenerating at this point....

We also saw this piggy wig running along the trail!

On one of the days, the other woman with us insisted that we go to the Torre de'n Galmés, and I am so glad that she did!  It was AMAZING, we arrived at sunset and the taiotic ruins were simply amazing.  

The next day, my feet still being an issue, I set off on my own again on the bus up to Mao, but Mao is not a big place and I do love to walk, sore feet or not, so I set off to see the Fort that the British built, then managed to find BOTH of the taiotic monuments, without the benefit of a map, along the most fascinating route!  Through lots of farms.

Here it is....the bigger of the two I found that day.

And Mao, we flew home that night, but the flight was delayed for hours, so we got in at 4am, a little trying, but a fantastic trip.  Must go back.  As much because the people we met there, almost all of them Menorcans as we were outside the season, were SO wonderful and so helpful and they loved their land.  Not just the ones in the hotels, who also went well beyond the call of duty, but everyone we met.  It was a marvelous trip, and my feet are now largely recovered too!  Thankfully, it looks like the toenail will regrow too!


Anonymous said...

Wow. What a wonderful island. Got Menorca on the list.

Helen said...

My feet are hurting in sympathy but beautiful pics

elpadawan said...

"It looks like the toenail will regrow." What a wonderful way to close such a beautiful post :)

oreneta said...

Hi all! It was spectacular! Definitely worth a visit and a nice long one too.....ElP, glad to help you out there! Hey...I'm glad I'll get a toenail back!!!

thecatalanway said...

Lovely that brings back wonderful memories. I want to go back there some day soon. Loved walking the Cami de Cavalls and still have some to do so thanks for the reminder. Hope all well with you - exciting day today! Kate xxx