Cami de Cavalls


Two of the best days hiking so far have brought me along the south coast of this surprisingly unspoilt island. The south is easier going than the rugged north and thankfully flatter. 

After leaving the monumental stones of Torre d’en Galmes to their timeless slumber I retraced my steps to the Cami de Cavalls and wove my way through the wild olives ( of which there are thousands but no cultivated ones ?) pines and juniper.  The track was blocked in places by tree fall from last weeks storm. 

      There is a gin distillery on the island, a hangover (!) from the British colonial days but I read they import the juniper berries as there are none on the island. The way went passed white limestone cliffs sporting brave little trees starting out on a tough life, and down to a little cove at Caleta Llucalari.  


Then came the shock of civilisation.  

 Now that’s what I call sensitive development. To be fair it’s few and far between and after walking nearly all the way around the coast I’ve been pleasantly surprised how little of it has been touched at all. It could be down to the fact that MENORCA was the last province to hold out against Franco and so was left out of any tourism development money during the 60’s and after. 

Anyway the holiday villas have some lovely floral displays, sometimes getting out of hand.  

   Some buildings have features you couldn’t get away with in the rain sodden North.  

 Some developments never made it.  

 And some you might wish hadn’t. I wonder what the Irish Republican boys would think of their flag flying with this lot.  

 Still I was soon off down the trail with other oiled up sun seekers 

 into a pastoral countryside of white cows and white birds, black horses and white birds and reed rich wetlands.  

       The coast featured many islets and many walkers ambling between resorts.  

   And as this Camino was originally for horse riders unsurprising to find them also.  

 More development at Sant Tomas and then the wilds again.  

     At this point the Cami de Cavalls heads inland but an alternative route sticks to the coast and passed beaches I didn’t want to miss. A lovely cliff top path through pines and over jagged limestone.  

       There were steps and cave houses cut into the rock.  

     And interesting remains of former lives trapped in the stone.  

   The boating crowd found safe anchorage.  

 Then came adventure. I got to Cala Trebaluger where my guide mentioned a river crossing. It wasn’t as I imagined.  

 After watching a couple strip off and wade neck deep across the channel I was wary. My phone could get wet. Everything else, down bag, tent, clothes, food, clothes etc could also end up in the sea. It was a Bear Gyrils moment. Channeling my inner Ray Mears I stripped off stuffing everything in bags, in bags, in waterproof sacks. Hoisting my 12kilo rucksack on my head I gingerly followed the route across indicated by my fellow intrepid adventurers. It got tricky on the last leg across the deepest dip but luckily they were there on the rocks to release me of my load and I scrambled ignominious and naked up to join them. We can be heroes. 

No way horses could follow.  

 So off through the woods again to find a place to camp. I thought the next beach, Cala Mitjana, might be nice and so it was.  

 I found myself a sheltered hut set amongst civil war defences and an old limestone quarry overlooking the beach.  

       As I settled in about 15 kayaks paddled in and set up camp for the night. So much for the 4000€ fine for camping.  

 A nice night spent listening to the lapping and flapping of water on the rocks. 

More pine woods in the morning led to the resort of Santa Galdana a 5 hour walk from my destination for the day at Cala en Bosch on the southwestern tip of Menorca.  

   One feature of the domestic buildings on Menorca I hadn’t seen before are the zigzag tile downpipes.  

 I was tempted to swim here as there were beachside showers but it wasn’t hot enough so after a cafe con leche and wifi chat with home I headed off into more pine woods on a wide track and long and winding steps to a succession of beautiful access free beaches.  

         Some rocky stretches and interesting scat for the admitted minority interested in such things.  

   I came to what I knew was the last nice isolated beach on my trip so had to don the goggles one more time.  


There were a lot of civil war emplacements in the following stretch that I explored as well as some much older structures.  


I met up with Birgit again on her journey in the opposite direction. It’s amazing how after meeting briefly once fellow travellers can seem like old friends. May the road rise to meet you Birgit. 

Speaking of fellow travellers, I came across the cave/ house mentioned by Olof back in Cala Morell but it was too early to consider staying there and also too busy with tourists.  

     A little later the sights and sounds of the resort of Son Xoriguer drew me to the bar where I write this. Tomorrow is an easy 4 or 5 hours back to Ciutadella where I started this odyssey. 

But now I have to find somewhere in resortville where a man and tent may go unnoticed.  



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.