Not a trip to the far east but a gentle walk in the beautiful Orient valley in Mallorca.
We parked in the small parking area in Orient and walked back along the PM-210 towards Bunyola. I do not normally enjoy road walking but this stretch was a delight. The roadside verges were covered in wild flowers.
I saw some Chrysanthemum coronarium, common name – crown daisy.
It comes in two forms, the normal yellow type and the discolor with the lateral edges of the petals being white.
The plant is rich in minerals and vitamins and is used as a leaf vegetable especially in Asian cuisines.
There was also lots of Chicory, Cichorium intybus. A straggly plant but with beautiful mauve-blue flowers that can turn pale after rain as the blue pigment is water soluble. The leaves can be used in salads and the roots when roasted can be used as a coffee substitute. Anyone old enough to remember ‘Camp coffee’
After 1.5 km we turned off to our left onto the ‘Santa Maria’ track. Climbing a stile and then continuing along the stony track between dry stone walls.
Just the other side of the wall we saw a sheep with its lamb which had been born only minutes before. We did not linger as we did not want to scare the sheep.
Passing a ruin on our left we climbed another stile to reach the stepping stones over the Torrent d’es Freu.
There was no need of the stepping stones this year as the water was just a trickle. We now had a steady climb to a gap in the wall. At a way marked junction we took the left hand path to climb through the forest to the Pas de s’Estalo. We passed an old sitja, or charcoal kiln and an old oven.
The production of charcoal continued in Mallorca until the 1920’s when its use was superseded by Butane gas. The charcoal burners began their work in April and had to remain on site to supervise the delicate burning process. They built huts in which to live and some of these have been restored.
It was then an easy stroll down a dirt track back to Orient.
The weather was a bit murky but we paused for our lunch in a sheltered spot. It was like a miniature hay meadow with numerous species of flowers. I had a good crawl around and found some Pyramidal orchids and some Scarlet Pimpernel.
Back in Bunyola we were glad to sit inside at the cafe and enjoy a hot cafe con leche.
Only a short walk but full of interest.