What a difference a day makes.
It was indeed a world of pain out there today and not all from the expected direction. After a good dinner in the refugi I shared with a nice Danish couple and about 20 others I retired to my dormitory still the only occupant. I couldn’t decide if the hospitalario was doing me or the others a favour.
Actually the others , as I was sorely bitten time and again and on waking discovered I had really swollen up in numerous spots and my skin was tightly stretched and throbbing.
Not good. It had been a very restless night, not only because of mozzie vigilance but because of heavy rain making noises not often heard. Everybody was very weather wary at breakfast, discussing the infinite variety of forecasts, none good. A few were getting cabs out of there, others taking shortcuts to Lluc or the refugi at Son Amer. I was still hoping to complete the route over the high(est) ground. I dressed in my swimming togs and raincoat with nothing underneath reasoning to keep clothes dry in my rucksack. I was able to take a few photos before the rain started and rendered my phone and camera inoperable.
I followed a family out on the trail but soon found them returning, not fancying their chances with the lightening. The way was dramatic but unfortunately the rain put paid to much photo documentation.
There were frequent flashes of bright ultraviolet and loud crashes of thunder as I made my way up the old cobbled path through the holm oak. I got to a signpost pointing one way to my route into the big stuff (4 1/2 hrs) and another back to the reservoir and road at Cuber ( 1 1/4 hr). I hesitated, waiting maybe for something to make up my mind. On cue, a frightening series of lightening flashes and almost immediate CRASH of ear splitting thunder. Message received I turned towards the road in the knowledge that you don’t go up on the highest ridges in THAT.
Water water everywhere as I followed a big aqueduct delivering water to the reservoir whose levels must have been rising rapid. At last I could make out the road below and I wondered if there would be covered space at the recreation area down there. Unfortunately not, apart from the porta toilet that I briefly occupied whilst considering options. There was a bus at 3.30 but 5 hours sheltering in a toilet seemed a bit desperate. I heard a car approaching and burst from the plastic box and ran to the road throwing out my hand in a desperate hitcher gesture. It worked. Two angels from Zurich sped me the 12 or so km to Lluc and seemed not to mind the fact I flooded the back of their hire car. A 10 minute walk up to the refugi and I was safe, although unable to get a bed for another 3 hours. I spent most of the time drying my kit under the hot air hand dryers in the toilets, getting nice and warm in the process.
I had a brief look around this world heritage site, writing postcards and having a “drown my sorrows “pint.
I had hoped to catch the famous choir who perform twice a day but the timing was wrong for that too. You can stay in the old monk cells here which I would have liked to do if I’d known, saving a couple of walks. In my mood I might have been tempted to stay in a life of quiet, and dry, contemplation.
Enough. I’d have to return in the morning for pain relief. The sky was looking ominous again and I made it back up the hill just before the heavens opened. A silver lining of sorts but I’m hoping for better tomorrow.