Friday, March 29, 2013

Dia 3, day 3 mallorca

Having slept better than anticipated on the hard floor, and getting up to make a fire we set off the next morning, a beautiful sunny day.


Saw this tree growing out of the top of this rock, really, it didn't touch the ground anywhere.

We climbed up and up and up and up to a pass, this is looking back.  It was OUTRAGEOUSLY windy, I was for the first time on the trip truly grateful for my 8kilo pack, holding me down to the ground.  One woman did blow over in fact, and as I was out front by quite a bit I decided to slow down and wait for the next person so if I did blow away someone would see me go.  Tremendous fun.

Looking ahead from the pass, you can see the sea if you make the picture bigger.  Absolutely beautiful day.

The left hand slope is the pass, we came down well into the valley there then climbed up to where I took the picture again.

Climbed a wee bit higher, came over a ridge and this is what I saw.

Honestly, I could walk this route again tomorrow so happily.

The path down was a series or really tight switchbacks.  They were pretty groomed, not like the goat track we came down a day or two before, but still, pretty solidly steep.  A little hard on the knees of those who have a wee bit of weakness there.  I was OK though.

We got down to a sanctuary, this is the first motel I've ever seen, you keep your horse in the space down below and sleep in the room above.  Pretty clever, no?

View along above the horse stables.

A lovely little bridge on the way to that night's hostal

After we got to the hostal we had a few hours to kill so I went for a little walk, and look who I found!

A truly beautiful place. 

Last instalment to come, though I am going walking again tomorrow, so I'll have a tough time getting these in order!

Sorry no Catalan today, just too tired.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 2, Mallorca. Dia dos, Mallorca

Day 2 dawned sunny and beautiful, and we were walking along a coast trail beside the sea.  Stunningly gorgeous the entire way. Honestly this trail and walk was amazing.

Dia dos, quin dia més maca, passejant a costat del mar.  Absolutament impressionant per tota la ruta.  Sincerament, aquesta ruta em deixava boca abada.

We got into a largish town and we had a 800m or so climb to get up to the refugi where we were to spend the night.  However, after the 10 hour day the day before, one person with a sore back, another with a busted boot, and two others with a sore leg (one with a cold to top that off) and one simply tired too close to her limit, it was decided that we would catch a cab up the hill.  I was absolutely fine, but as I have a rather challenging weekend this weekend as well, skipping this 4 hours straight of climbing seemed a good idea.  A wise choice for all if we were to continue to enjoy the following two days as well.

Once at the top we went for a bit of a walk (with another charming Mallorquí told us to b*ugger off) to look over the edge where we were to have climbed from, you can see it in the picture below.

Vam arribar en una poble més gran i després vam haver de pujar una altra muntanya per unes 800 metres, o quatre hores de pujada, més o menys.  Però el dia abans vam fer 10 hores, una persona li feia mal l'escena, una altra ha trencat una bota, dues més els feien mal una cama i un d'aquests era constipada a sobre, i una simplement al límit.  Vam decidir de pujar al refugi en una parella de taxis, saltant aquesta pujada per desfruitar molt més els dies seguënts.  Una decision ben fet.  

Un cop arribat, vam donar una mica d'una volta (amb una altre Mallorquí molt gràcios ens va donar una butifara metaforicament) per veure la vista d'on hauriem hagut de pujar.  Ho pots veure aquí a baix.

Looking down the valley towards the lake where the refuge is.  Aquest a foto està mirant enrere del vall, i el refugi és a costat del llac.

There were lots of cows up there.  Hi havien moltes vaques allà.

Lots of very curious cows!  Vaques molt curiosos!

And sheep, who decided it would be a good idea to hide away from the wind on the front porch of the refugi, which would have been OK, except they kept BAAAAAHHHHHhing, know what?  THey're really loud early in the morning.

I unes bens amb nens que van decidir d'amargar-se del vent al porxo del refugi, no ho seria una dificultat si haguessin parat de cridar.  Van fer molt de soroll al matí.

The refugi was my favourite, no electricity, no water.  Heated with a fireplace inside and we cooked on a fireplace outside.  There was a single small room, about 30 by 15 feet, with a loft up stairs just big enough for four people to sleep side by side.  No matresses (though I brought a sleeping pad and was very glad I did), and we kept the fire going all night.  One man got up around midnight and put some wood on, I woke up around 4 am, the fire was nearly out and it was getting cold.  I had a debate about whether it would be better to wake everyone up by getting the fire going again, or let everyone wake up cause they were cold.  Went for the fire in the end, had to go outside to get some kindling, glorious night out, huge cold sky and big mountains all around.  Blew and stoked the fire back into life and crawled back into my sleeping bag.

Aquest refugi era el meu preferit, ni electricitat, ni aigua.  Té un llar a dintre i un barbacoa de llenya a fora.  El refugi és una sola habitació de 9 per 5 metres, més o menys amb un espai a sobre la taula a on quatre persones poden dormir un a costat l'altre.  No hi han matalases (vaig portar una estarilla i estava molt contenta que ho hagi fet), i vam mantenir el foc per tot el nit.  Un home va aixecar a les 12 per posar més llenya i jo vaig despertar a les 4, el foc gairebé mort i feia una mica de fred.  Vaig rumiar per un rato si seria millor despertar tothom fent foc o deixar el refugi que refredi i tothom desperti pel fred.  Vaig decidir de fer foc, vaig sortir per llenya petita, quin nit més esplendoros un cel enorme i fred amb muntanyes encerclant-nos.  Vaig fer el foc i em vaig gatejar al sac de dormir un altre cop.

What a wonderful night.  Una nit molt especial.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

radio silence, silencia del ràdio

Sorry about the radio silence of late, end of term and t.i.r.e.d.  I'm committing to be a better blogger!

I've just come back from four days in Mallorca walking the Travessa de la Serralada Tramuntana.  I have to recommend it enormously, though I also have to say that with the exception of one stellar person, the Mallorquins were, uniformly, *ssholes.  The ones we dealt with in the hotels and taxis were fine, but the ones who weren't making money off of us, again aside from that one individual who I'll tell you about later....meh.

Ho hum.


We arrived there Friday night and stayed in a nice place, had a good dinner there, and early in the morning we were off.  We promptly got lost because the land owners in that area, where the designated trail goes, don't want the trail to exist, so they've taken down the signs, hidden the trail markers and made it as difficult as possible.

We ended up putting in an extra 4 hours of walking on this section because one of the people we met actually deliberately sent us the wrong way, a long, intricate long way.  Niiiiiiiiceeee!

The second person we spoke to as we were finding our way out to the next town essentially told us to F-off, and the the third, with incredibly unbelievably bad-humour angrily told us the right way.  At least.

Today Youngest did the translation while I made a dinner the she had wanted to make in the first place and then got bored.

Perdó per no escriure, però he estat cansada gràcies al fet que és el final del trimestre. Estic intentant ser una blogger més dedicada!

Acabo d'arribar de quatre dies a Mallorca caminant la Travessa de la Serralada Tramuntana. Ho recomano moltíssim, però també haig de dir que, menys una persona, tots els Mallorquins eren "jilip*llas". Els dels hotels i els taxis eren normalets, però els que no estàvem pagant... (menys aquell únic individu).



Vam arribar allà al divendres i ens vam quedar en un hostal maco, després d'un bon sopar i dormir vam marxar. Ràpidament vam aconseguir perdre'ns perquè els amos del terreny, per on el camí passa, no els hi agrada que passin els excursionistes, pertany havien tret les senyals, i havien amagat les fites per fer-ho lo més complicat possible.

Vam acabar afegint-hi 4 hores d'extra en aquell dia perquè la primera persona que ens vam trobar ens va enviar en la direcció contrària.

La segona persona ens va dir que ens anéssim a la merda, i la tercera ens va dir la direcció, però de molt mal humor. Que maco....

Avui la Petita m'ha fet la traducció mentre jo feia el sopar. 

The flight into Mallorca was like a postcard with the sun going down.  Quan vam arribar a Mallorca, amb la posta de sol, era com una postal, no?


Una oca que ens va saludar.  Lovely goose, isn't she.

The Catalan in Mallorca has some modifications, most strongly noticed in the articles, instead of 'la', you get 'sa', 'el' goes to 'es' I think, and 'en' to 'na'.  'Tis a might confusing.

The hills there are full of these huge pits lined with clay, that we think were used for storing ice to sell later in the summer in town.

En les muntanyes hi ha moltes d'aquestes estructures, fet, ens semblem, per guardar gel en l'hivern per vendre a l'estiu.

Here we are frankly bushwacking to try to find a way out of the mountains to where we needed to be.  Aquí estem intentant de trobar una ruta, a on gairebé no hi havien cap.

Mallorca is filled, at least this region of Mallorca is filled with the most amazing mile after mile of drystone wall, beautifully put together.  If you ever need a really skilled mason, this must be the place.

Mallorca està ple de parets fet en sec, impressionant.  Han de ser una colla d'experts per la illa.

We found this spring.  Hem trobat aquesta font.

Oliveres, molt antigues i molt fascinants.  We found ancient gnarled olive trees.

Dry stone bridges, ponts de perdre seca

Donkeys, burros, 

Also throughout the mountains there are these flattened circles, built up, always with the remains of a house beside them.  We were pretty sure that these were for making charcoal.

Les muntanyes també són plenes d'aquestes cercles planes i ben fetes.  Pensàvem que estaven fet per fer carbó.

Una de les cases, one of the houses:

A view from the mountains.  We had actually started to go down the wrong way, after someone very kindly misinformed us of the route, here's hoping it was accidental.  We had gone down a couple of hundred meters at least, and been chased by goats fleeing a dog when the kind Mallorqui caught us up. Seems he has been a guide in these mountains for 30 years, and we were going the wrong way and would have to go up again.  I am so grateful he told us or we would have missed the most spectacular part of the journey.

Una vista...vam haver començat de baixar una parella de cents de metres per una ruta MIS-recomanda (espero que no hagi estat fet expressament) quan el mallorquí maco ens va trobar i ens va explicar que vam haver de pujar amunt un altre cop.  L'home ha estat una guia per aquestes muntanyes per uns 30 anys i estic molt agraïda que ens va explicar la ruta correcta perquè si no, hauríem hagut saltat el part més espectacular de tota la recorregut.

See those cliffs on the right?  We got to walk along the ridge there.  La ruta correcte va per la carena d'aquestes muntanyes a la dreta.

Aquí som amunt.  And here we are at the top.

Looking ahead, mirant endavant

a baix, down,

and back.  If you look closely, you can see some people on the route.  I enrere, si mirés amb molta atenció pots veure algunes persones pujant.

A view looking ahead, una altra vista mirant endavant,

Una altra olivera amb una forma excepcional.  Another olive tree, with a truly amazing shape.

These are called 'fites' and they mark the route, normally they are a pile of stones, but here whoever made it was pretty talented!  Una fita, que normalment són simplement una pila de pedres, però aquesta fita té un punt especial, no?

It was really very green and lovely as we got further down.  Més avall, és molt verd.

We spent that night in a refugi, it was fine, mostly filled with Germans, a LOT of germans, and in general, we slept well, though one man had a mattress on the floor so we could all fit into the same room together. Ready for the next day.

Aquesta segona nit vam passar en un refugi, força bona i ple d'alemanys, però PLE!  En general, vam dormir bé, encara que un home havia de dormir amb un matalàs al terra per quedar-nos tots junts en una habitació.  Llest per el dia seguënt.