We started our walk from the recreation site at point 42.2 km on the MA-10. I had done this walk before but always with a guide. The last time was in 2011 when Barbara, the Hoteliers Association guide had led the walk.
Would I remember it?
The first part was easy as we followed the track / road that wound up the hillside. Signs warned us to beware of big game, but I think them mean goats and not to pick the mushrooms. As we gained height the views opened up with Migdia prominent to the east.
The track ended at a T junction with no indication as to which way to go. A signpost or cairn would have been helpful. No path is shown on the map although the logical way seemed to be to the right. I turned in that direction and soon I could see a small cairn up ahead on the slope so I headed towards it. The rest of the group followed assuming that I knew the way!.Another cairn came into view, this must be the path. Now, back in the UK,cairns are usually significant structures and have some meaning. Not so in Mallorca. Anyone and everyone seem to try and balance three or more rocks on top of one another. This is then a cairn, or ‘little man’ as they are sometimes referred to. There can be dozens of them. It does not necessarily mean that this is the path, it is just evidence that someone has passed this way before. Nevertheless, we continued upwards climbing over some fallen tree trunks but always with one of the ;little men’ in sight. Soon we were climbing on rock. There were plenty of hand and footholds but we had to be careful. The rock had been carved by the wind and rain into some razor sharp edges. You would not want to slip and fall on one. It could ruin your shorts and your skin.
Eventually we spotted the fire watch tower on the summit, we were almost there. I think I had discovered the ‘Climbers Route’
It was worth all the effort. we had a 360 degree view from the summit. The Sierra Tramuntana was spread out around us. Looking north towards the coast we could see the bulk of Puig de Balitx and round to the right we could see the Moro de Cala Roig, the watch tower at sa Costera, We could pick out the Coll de Biniamar, the track that we use when we walk to Cala Tuent. Below us was a valley that seemed to lead to Balitx d’Avall. A possible idea for a future walk.
Panorama from Sa Bassa
At the summit of Sa Bassa. 819 m
We were startled to hear a metallic sound behind us. It was the fire warden unlocking the gate to climb up the tower to start his shift. He gave us a cheery “Hola”. Where had he appeared from? There must be another path.
We posed for a few photos and then it was time to head back.
We located the start of the that the warden had used and found it surprisingly easy. No scrambling about on rock.Halfway down we came to a viewpoint where after climbing a rock we had a great view of the coast and Puerto Soller.
The dirt track emerged close to the T junction we had come to on our way up but the start was obscured by bushes. we now had a leisurely stroll back to the picnic area and the road. Just before reaching the road we spotted a couple of donkeys. A mother and her foal. The foal was lying down. Was it OK?. The mother did not seem at all concerned and walked towards us, perhaps associating humans with food. Krystl produced an apple from her rucksack and the sight or smell of it soon had the foal on its feet wanting its share – Magic.
We now had a short distance of road walking until we reached the signpost at Km 42.8 showing the way to Fornalutx via the Cami de s’Alzina Fumadora. This cobbled path descends almost 300m in a series of hairpin bends. It is known as the way of the Smoking Oak. Apparently this is a reference to the fact that workers travelling up and down the route would stop in the shade of one of the trees for a cigarette. We stopped to have our lunch but skipped the cigarette.
There were lots of wild flowers alongside the path and I could not resist taking more photos.
I am no botanist but I think the one on the left is the Lesser Periwinkle and on the right is the Scarlet Pimpernel.
I am not sure of the one in the centre. I should have bought the ‘Illustrated guide to the Flowers of Mallorca’ that I saw on sale in Soller.
After 45 minutes we arrived in Fornalutx and I needed a drink. I did not drink at the font but settled for a nice ‘cafe con leche’ in the beautiful square at Fornalutx.
The square was busy and there were dozens of cyclists enjoying a bit of sport on the steep twisting roads of Mallorca.
We walked back to Soller along the path that passes through Binibasi to reach the centre of Soller which was now all peaceful after the festivities of last week.
Is it safe to drink? Soller
We had probably only done about 8 km and were back by 2.30 pm but it had been another marvellous day
For some reason this walk does not appear in any of the guidebooks.