18th May 2015.
Today, Krystl and I decided to climb the Puig de Sa Bassa, 819m. There are marvellous 360 degree views from the summit.
We started our walk from the Area Recreativa at point 42.2 on the MA –10. This walk is not featured in any of the guidebooks and there is no path drawn on the map but I had been there before.
We passed the picnic tables and headed up a clear track. There were many signs, Prohibito de passo, which I think applied to cars, Do not pick the mushrooms, No hunting and beware of big game. Do they mean goats?
At a shelter, the marker post indicated that we should turn left but I was sure that these led to the Cami de s’Alzina Fumadora which we would take on our return journey. We branched right and continued up the wide track and after several hairpin bends we came to a T junction. There was no indication of our path but I remembered that if we went straight ahead we could pick up a faint track.
Following occasional cairns we came out close to the summit and the fire watch tower.
The warden had beaten us to the top and was already in his cabin having washed out his T-shirt and hung it out to dry. It must be a solitary job.
From the summit the view was fantastic taking in many of the peaks of the Sierra Tramuntana. The dominant ones were Mig Dia and Puig Major, the highest point on Mallorca.
I was fascinated by a Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon, which was flitting around. It barely settled but I did manage to get one shot.
On our descent we had some difficulty finding the path so made our own way down. It was a bit of a scramble and some of the rocks were very sharp but there were plenty of handholds. Once at the T-junction we could reverse our outward route and concentrate on the views.
At the shelter we followed the marker posts and it led us to the road opposite the start of the Cami de s’Alzina Fumadora.
It means the ‘ Way of the smoking oaks’ It is a reference to the story that many workers toiling up and down the path would stop for a cigarette in the shade of one of the oak trees. We stopped by one, but not for a cigarette, just a spot of shade under which we could eat our lunch.
Growing in between cracks in the path were some Scarlet Pimpernel. They were tiny but I could no resist getting down on my hands and knees to get my picture.
The cobbled and stepped path led us down to Fornalutx, one of the most beautiful villages on the island.
The hard work was now over. It was time to relax and quench my thirst with a cold beer.
A meal to remember.
That evening Jean and I ate at El Pirata. www.elpiratasoller.com
We sat right by the waters edge in the harbour and ordered ‘Festival Plus’ It is listed as a surprise consisting of three starters, a fish course, a meat dish and a selection of postres. We asked the waitress what it was exactly and she replied that she did not know! It was all up to the chef. It varied every day and sometimes during the day.
Best to play safe and order a bottle of white and a carafe of house red just in case!
The starters were served on an elevated tray and consisted of three tapas.
1. Cream cheese and rocket leaves wrapped around with Serrano ham and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
2. Prawns in a very light batter fried with a lemon tartar dip
3. Smoked salmon in a rose shape filled with cream cheese and sitting on a bed of pressed potato with a balsamic and parsley drizzle.
The bottle of Sauvignon blanc had been a perfect accompaniment.
The fish course was John Dory placed on a bed of Linguine cooked in Squid Ink.
The meat course was Pork Medallions wrapped in Serrano Ham with Ratatouille vegetables with a Balsamic Oil drizzle.
I was glad I had ordered the red wine!
The ‘Postres’ were
Coconut ice-cream with a chocolate drizzle.
Sliced banana with strawberries
Lemon Sorbet with a raspberry drizzle.
We could not leave without a coffee and a liqueur.
Brandy for me and a Tia Maria for Jean.
The brandy was served in a huge warm glass that I could almost get my head in.
It had been a memorable evening and as we strolled back alongside the marina we imagined which yacht was ours. But we were in the Marina Hotel, not on a yacht. We are not millionaires.
The end of a brilliant day