May 20th 2012
Panorama from the summit of Sa Rateta
The scene above is my favourite view on the island. Looking down on Cuber and Gorg Blau with the high peaks of Puig Major and Massanella in the background.
We parked our car near the gates of Cuber and walked along the tarmac track alongside the reservoir. There was quite a lot of cloud about today and the view ahead to Sa Rateta did not look promising. However behind us the sky seemed to be clearing.
Most of the guide books describe a route starting forty metres after crossing the dam wall and climbing steeply up a gully towards a lone pine tree. I have done this route but found it quite difficult, so today we are going for an easier but longer option. First we have to descend. Just before reaching the dam wall we turned left to carefully make our way down a rock strewn pass to cross the dry streambed of the Torrent d’Almadra.
We regained the path which rose gently up the hillside. The start of the route up to Sa Rateta was marked by a red dot on the wall close to a boulder. The way was steep and we had to keep our eyes open to spot the red dots and little cairns. We headed for what looked like a wall but was in fact the path that zigzagged its way towards the summit. The views were fantastic especially looking south towards the sugar loaf mountains of Puig d’Alaro and S’Alcaldena. An even better sight was when a eagle flew by. It circled round and at times was below us so that we could see the beautiful brown colouring on the topside of its wings. We also saw several black vultures but the eagle was special.
We emerged onto an expanse of broad flat rock and the summit was now in sight. The walking was easy but we had to be careful as there were many fissures and holes in the limestone.
Soon we were at the summit of Sa Rateta at 1124 metres and at my favourite viewpoint. Conditions were perfect and I was able to take photos before we had our lunch.
My favourite place
At the summit of Sa Rateta
From the summit we walked along the ridge heading southwest to reach a cairn marking the start of the steep descent down to the Coll des Gats.The coll is at 996 metres but there is a beautiful patch of short grass which makes it a lovely place to stop for a rest.
The way ahead to Na Franquesa looks impossible but is in fact fairly easy. We followed a shelf to the left of the steep crag and then turned right to regain the ridge and pass over the twin peaks at 1061 and 1067 metres. Once again the views from the summit were marvellous.
We gazed across to the pointed summit of L’Ofre. Should we do it today?. If you are doing a linear walk to Soller it is a logical extension to the walk, but we had left the car at Cuber and therefore had to do a circular walk. We now had another steep descent down to an unnamed coll close to the pylon that marks the start of the climb up to L’Ofre. Here we turned right to make our way through woodland towards the Coll de L’Ofre to join the main track back to Cuber.
It had been a great day. Probably only about 6 miles but full of interest.
That evening I once again ate at Campo Sol. I sat outside at a table facing the mountains. As the sun set and the light faded, the peaks of L’Ofre and Es Cornadors changed from pink to mauve to purple until finally fading into the darkness. That’s what it looked like although it could have been the effect of the wine. Another marvellous meal to finish off the day.