It was nearly dark as I followed the track between resorts across rock and scrub looking for someplace to pitch my tent. At the southwesern tip of the island with the lighthouse of Cap d’Artrutz flashing at me I made do with a flat patch of rock beside a civil war gun emplacement. I figured if the forecast rain happened and the 15€ Aldi tent didn’t stand up to it I could hunker down in the bunker.  

 In the morning I was still dry but clouds were brewing.  

   The last leg up the west coast was a cliff top hike across lumpy limestone, once I’d cleared the holiday hotels and lighthouse.  

   I passed the nodding seed heads that had greeted me on my first day on the trail and another ageless stone shelter with its gravity defying roof construction.  


Before I knew it I was in Ciutadella. At the ferry port there was a boat due to leave in 20 mins but I was too late to buy a ticket apparently so I had a day meandering the narrow city streets probably clocking up as many km as I would on the trail. It was photogenic though so forgive me any overexposure.  

                             I was puzzled by this completely walled in boat.  


The sun was shining again so before my ferry left I had a final swim with the fishes from the little city beach.  


Back in Port Alcudia the shining morning sun slowly drew out the beach goers.  

     Walking to the bus I reflected that you can look all day for a phone box and then along come 5 at a time.  

 Driving in an hour past the mountain range it had taken me 8 days to hike I got to Palma where my funky and busy hostel was smack in the middle of the old quarter.  

 I dumped my rucksack and floated off 12kg lighter to explore. Again the street scenes demanded recording so bare with me.  

               The cathedral by the way was 400years in the making, started after the re conquest from the Muslims on the site of the mosque. Gaudi did a load of stuff for a finish. The rose window is the largest in Europe I think but unfortunately being Sunday the cathedral was shut (?) so I didn’t get me admire the multitude of stained glass.  


It struck me again how wealthy and sophisticated this island is, particularly compared to its neighbour Menorca. Even the ice cream parlours are pure class.  

 And the lap dogs have carriages.  


I walked down to the marina to be a voyeur on an alien life form and lifestyle. Who are these people? 

   Raoul was “entertaining” in full view of us rubbernecking tourists but didn’t seem to be pulling to me.  

 Sated by the boat porn I returned to the normality of a 6 bed dorm in a back street hostel to prepare for re entry. 

For I decided to postpone the remaining 2 Spanish islands (actually I’m sure I can find more) for another time. I’ve been a deserter from the Homefront for long enough and I’ll be flying to Ireland in the morning. 

These two routes have been good. I missed out the highest and possibly the best of the Mallorcan route due to weather conditions and missed out the worst of the Menorcan route due to time constraints but both were special and recommended. But there’s no place like home.  


                      I’m outta here. 


Ps  Stay tuned for more adventures in December  and I’d love to know who is the avid reader in Italy  


With the weather set fair for awhile I set out for the wild northwest and North Coast somewhat weighed down by a pack full of provisions, and stopping at the last mini market to load up on sugary pastries. At the end of the tarmac 

 i met a couple of middle aged ladies coming back from the wildzone in sandles and flip flops so figured I’d be ok. I don’t know how they got far cos the track was rough across sharp and jagged limestone. The first point of interest was a nice rock arch.  

 The track made its way up to an old fortification though from what conflict I don’t know. It meandered across a landscape very similar to home on the western seaboard of Ireland. To the Burren or the Aran Islands, denuded of trees, with wind shaped vegetation  

 and a labyrinth of dry stone walls. But there was a lot more heat here which made it even less hospitable to plant growth.  

   Although the seed pods of Amarilis (?) showed that they liked the conditions more than they do in my garden. 

The sea cliffs and views were pretty stunning and the azure blue of the water tempted some high diving.  

       The way was well signed with very frequent posts that even had reflective strips for anyone out after dark.  

 Another feature on the route are the self closing gates, hinged on slant with beautifully crafted latches.  

 This section was littered not only with miles of drystone wall but also unique animal shelters known as baracas and looking like fantastical towers of Babel.  

       They obviously had a lot of rock to clear. But suddenly it was no longer clear and the scrubs had taken over for awhile with the path hacked through the undergrowth an attractive  environment for exotic creepy crawlies.  

   In the afternoon Cala Morell, the only little settlement on this stretch came into view, nicely situated above a sandy cove and with a fantastic necropolis that I’d have been tempted to stay the night in if I hadn’t wanted to push on further.  

       I met Olof here, a German living in Barcelona for the last 10 years, who was also hiking the Cami de Cavalls but in the opposite direction. He’d just come from where I was going , the empty quarter , and was able to give me some handy info. He warned me it was hard going and not to underestimate how long sections would take. I had been pondering this as Paddy Dillons guide had timings of 2km per hour hiking time, not including any photo, eating or exhaustion breaks and the man is no hiking slouch. Anyway Olof was a nice guy to spend some talk time with after the lonely trail. 

The rock had changed completely as had the house style with everything, including the roofs painted white.  

   On I went up and down along the rocky shoreline and even though I had filled up with water in Cala Morell by the time I came upon some little fisherman huts and a spring I was glad to resupply.  


Again there was a dramatic change with rock giving way to fields of sand and pine trees.  

   It was along this undulating area of forest and little sandy fields that I caught up with David, a Spaniard who had given up his job as fitness trainer and football ref to embark upon the project , a life of adventure eventually and hopefully funded by his youtube offerings. We carried on together, back over rocky shores again until just before dark making camp at a little house high above a bay.  


A long day completing nearly 4 official stages and nearly 2 of Paddy’s. It was more of the same the next day made even longer by the fact that we missed a signpost through concentrating on our mutual Spanish and English lessons and not on the route. This meant we climbed a long long hill needlessly, had to retrace our steps and then climb the right long long hill. And we had to spend half an hour fixing my broken pack Macgiver style. Still the effort was rewarded with nice scenery, another holy spring and interesting geological stuff.  


We came to a signboard at an official stage beginning indicating the rather off putting profile of the way ahead.  

 It was much worse than that. The graph had evened out all the short but very steep up and downs. 2 km a hour started looking like the stuff of champions. 

But efforts were eventually and continuously rewarded at peaks along the way.  


It was way too hot for that kind of effort and when we came down into a particularly attractive isolated beach I had to cool off braking my own rule of not swimming in salt water if I can’t wash off the salt afterwards for fear of chaffing.  

 Refreshed we were able to carry on, up and down again,and again on cliff top and level ground till we came a glorious beach that had a road to it. Glorious not only for the colour of the sand but mainly because there was a restaurant there. Sunday Lunch.  


After satisfying the craving for food and drink I couldn’t resist the sea again before we carried on for another 3 hours and finding home for the night, a simple shelter with level concrete floor on a beautiful clear water cove where I yet again could not resist its allure. Later David also had to go diving to retrieve his dropped saucepan.  


We were joined by a couple of gents from the mountains of Alicante where me and Sally had once wandered. The place looked nice at sunset.  

 And similar at sunrise.  


With the foreseen salt rubbing a reality I hurried on in the morning past beaches of driftwood and nice rocks 


 hoping the little resort an hour or so further on would have a freshwater shower on the beach. It did but only one for washing feet. So I had to perform Houdini like writings to hold the button in whilst getting my body under the low tap. Felt better. 

The place was obviously in the process of shutdown with amusements(?) of all kinds being taken away.  

   The others caught up with me at the supermarket and David and I carried on while the rest went for coffee   There was too much road walking for my liking but eventually we got off road again.  

 Passed some lovely dragon trees  

  and down trails that could have been borreens.  

   We hit another beach resort and stopped for a drink and admired the mornings catch.  

 David was suffering for salt chaffing badly and stayed for a shower so we made our farewells and I carried on.  


More sandy paths, more woods and then more resorts. I decided to join the holiday makers in a place right on the trail and attend to domestic affairs again. I’m gonna avail of the Buffett breakfast. Reckon I can gat enough in to last a day or so. 

How the other half live eh.  



There’s been some serious clouds but luckily they have contained some good silver linings.  

 Hiking to the ferry port at 5 am I’m not too pleased to find it’s delayed again, only by 1 1/2 hr but it’s enough to throw my schedule off.  

 Arriving at the old Menorcan capital city of Ciutadella at 9.30 means there’s no way to get to my intended destination in a day.  

 There’s a bit of tricky planning involved in this hike. The GR223 traces the route all around the islands coastline on the Cami de Cavalls,a centuries old boundary trail made mainly for speedy defence. There are some long day stages, especially as officially it’s split into 20 and I’m trying to do it in 10. 

  Anyway there’s a bit coming up with no shops bars restaurants or anything for a couple of days so I have to be in the right place at the right time. And as it happened I was. After negotiating the cities squares,streets and harbour  

       I make it out of town, though the way was fraught with danger.  

  There were amazing narrow rocky inlets along the route with little swimming places cut into the sandstone rock and where villas lined the shore they seemed to try to outdo each other carving terraces and steps.  


I passed an interesting old Toyota Landcruiser camper and stopped for a chat with the German owners of the 30 yr old motor they’ve spent 4 years going round the world in. ( next project) 


 After awhile out of town I came to the first suburban strip leading into the resort towns of Cala en Blanes and Calespiques. Some of the old style villas were lovely in their simplicity.  

   But before too long I descended into proper British Beachholiday tack, quite a lot of it empty and forlorn.  


With skies darkening and shopping and clothes washing needed before ‘civilisation’ ran out I found a room with hot water and settled in to the orientation and preparation process. Just in time too, as the thunder grew in volume and the torrents started again. Luckily my balcony had a canopy so all my washed clothes could still dry in the strong wind. 

So fingers crossed for dry weather for the next 2 or 3 nights camping.