It was the last day of my holiday and I decided to climb Sa Rateta 1124 m and continue along the ridge to Na Franquera 1067 m, with the option of carrying on to L’Ofre. It is one of my favourite walks but also one of the hardest.
We started our walk from the gates at Cuber Reservoir and walked along the tarmac track to the left of the reservoir. Ahead of us we could see Sa Rateta which looked quite formidable from this angle. Just before we reached the dam wall we branched off to the left to go down the Torrent d’Almedra on a rough path with loose rocks. At the bottom we crossed over the pipe and turned left to follow another pipeline.
We climbed alongside the pipeline and just as the path started to descend we turned right using a concrete block to help us over the wall. We now began the hard work. The climb up to Sa Rateta. The path used to be difficult to find but now there are blue paint dots and cairns everywhere.
We soon joined a cobbled trail which zigzagged up the mountain but when this gave out we climbed over slabs of rock. We then had to negotiate an area of carritx grass. The long sharp leaves always ready to scratch your legs or trip you up. We reached another donkey trail which made for easier walking.
The views were fantastic looking down onto the Comasema and Solleric estates. To the south we could pick out the summits of Alcaldena and Alaro, the sugar loaf mountains.
The final couple of hundred metres were on bare rock with an occasional cairn to guide the way.
It was worth all the effort for the view from the end of the ridge. It is my favourite view on Mallorca, looking down on Cuber and surrounded by the high mountains. Greg was happy to pose and provide foreground interest
We now headed south west to the tiny cairn marking the summit of Sa Rateta at 1124 metres.
Maintaining direction we began the steep descent down to the Coll d’es Gats.
Straight ahead of us was Na Franquera, our next objective.At the Coll d’es Gats there is a lovely patch of close cropped grass, quite unusual in Mallorca. It made an ideal place to stop for our lunch.
From here the ascent of Na Franquera looks impossible but the path skirts round to the left before climbing steeply up onto the summit ridge.
It was hard going but once again the views from the summit were superb.
Greg sat contemplating L’Ofre, would we do it?
The descent from Na Franquera down to the Coll d’es Cards was quite tricky. Very steep with some loose rock. Greg kept telling me to trust my boots, walk tall and take little steps.
At the Coll it was decision time. I was very tired so Paul and Greg decided to climb L’Ofre while Krystl and I returned to the car at Cuber. We crossed the wall and descended through the trees. At a fork we turned left and followed the track down to the Coll de L’Ofre where there is a metal crucifix set in a pile of stones.
We walked down to the gates at the edge of the L’Ofre estate and then down to the dam wall and along the tarmac back to our car.
I was a tired boy and that evening I ate out with Neil at Las Palmeras.
Stuffed mussels followed by Roast Suckling Pig. It was delicious although I suspect it was some time since my piglet last suckled! Of course the meal was accompanied by a bottle of Anares Rioja.
Back at the hotel there was time for a last chat over a couple of Herbas sec con hielo.
It was time to say “adios Mallorca” for another year. I will be back next May in time for El Firo 2017.