It was Saturday so we decided to go to Soller to see the market and then walk up and down the barranc.
Along the street there were stalls selling various meats and sausages and lots of fresh vegetables in the indoor market. It was very colourful.
We left the town along the Carrier de Sa Lluna and walked up to Biniaraix and the start of the barranc. There were still some flags hanging out of windows, remnants of the battle last Monday.
It was 11 o’clock and time to stop for a coffee at the bar in the tiny square with its magnificent plane tree. At the top of the street was the old lavadero and the start of the Barranc de Biniaraix. The route is also known as the ‘Pilgrim Steps’ as it was the way taken by Pilgrims walking to the Monastery at Lluc.
When I came down the Barranc last Monday it had been my intention to descend by the Cami Vell but the signpost at the top was missing. I was not sure if the path was open. Today we decided to ascend by the Cami Vell and come down the Pilgrim stems making it a nice circular walk. Half way up I spotted some Balearic Foxgloves, Digitalis dubia.
They are generally smaller than Digitalis purpurea, have fewer flowers and have long soft hairs on the leaves and stems.
We carried on up the path which was becoming rougher but was still well signposted.
Near the top growing in the shade of a wall I found some Balearic Cyclamen.
Soon we reached the ‘secret glade’ with its two pool. The water level was quite low but there was still a trickle in the waterfall coming down the rock face.
It was very peaceful here today with just the sound of the water and birdsong. So unlike the first time I was here in 2000 when a group of hippies were having a party and frolicking in the water.
Out path now joined the main GR221 route and we descended down the Pilgrim Steps.
On the way down we passed a tap and an old tin cup. Anyone fancy a drink?
Although the trough is covered in algae and you would not want to drink from the cup, the water is very pure. It comes direct from the Font des Verger and is perfectly safe to drink. It may look a bit cloudy at first but just give it a couple of minutes to clear. A chance to fill up your water bottles for free.
The cobbled path is wonderful. We pass a narrow section at S’Estret and walk alongside an old aquifer. The view opened out as we descended towards Soller. We could see the town below us but it never seemed to get any closer as we negotiated dozens of hairpin bends.
We crossed the torrent four times although the footbridges were unnecessary as there was hardly any water flowing down.
Eventually we reached Biniaraix and once again called in at the bar for a can of coke.
We followed the road back to Soller when we had time to look round the square and see the beautiful church.
We watched the tram depart for the port. It is a great tourist attraction and must make a fortune as the fare is now 6 euro each way. The tram has operated daily since 1913. Initially the line was designed as a passenger service but was also used to transport merchandise. Fresh fish was carried from the port to Soller is an isothermal car and coal was taken from Soller to the former submarine base in the port.
A fairly easy day but full of interest.