Peter Bargh

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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

February 22nd, 2016 by Peter Bargh

GR221 to Biniaraix

I booked another two nights at Hotel Marina in Puerto de Soller as the buffet food was ok. Turned out the next two nights there were not enough guests paying for half board to make buffet worth the hotel’s while so the few dining got a fixed meal. Tonight was tuna salad followed by pork chops (dreadful taste) with potato bravas (no sauce) and for desert, a piece of chocolate roll with ice cream.

But before that I’d been for the longest walk of the holiday. From Port Soller, via Mirador de ses Barques to Fortnalutx, then a steep climb to Puig De Verger and down the valley with Serre de Torrelles on the left and Serra de Cuber on the right. This path brought me to the MA-10 main road and I thought I could walk around and climb the highest mountain, Puig Major, but it is fenced off as a military base. So I followed the road around to Embassament de Cuber, and joined the GR221 walk back to Biniaraix through the Barranc (gorge) de Biniaraix. At the top I was greeted with some amazing views with clouds below the mountain tops. And the route down was equally spectacular.  The photo below is of Els Cornador on the ascent to Biniaraix from Embassament de Cuber.

Biniaraix
February 21st, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Valldemossa to Deia on GR221

I caught a bus to Valldemossa with a plan to walk the GR221 back to Port Soller. I first walked around the village before locating the trail. It wasn’t as easy as I’d thought. I spotted five Spanish guys and asked if the track that was blocked with a private no entry sign was ok to pass, as I’d seen two walkers go up earlier. They said yes and were also heading for Deia, but going a more interesting route than the GR 221, so I followed.

We soon arrived at an information hut with a guy explaining about the routes. It all seemed complicated…some walks blocked, some only allowing restricted numbers, all volunteer based, book in advance weirdness. So I chickened out and left them to find the GR221. This took me on the usual paved and well marked route up the hill passing many casual walkers who were struggling with the steep gradient.

I arrived at a junction where the path was taking me what appeared to be back around to Valldemossa and not ahead to Deia, and a right turn that appeared to be going in slightly wrong direction too, although certainly better than the other route, so I turned and followed three Spanish women (Later found I was on Serra des Cairats). I overtook and arrived at a style with the top gated and locked and lots of no entry / private signs . One of the women said it’s private but ok to pass. So I continued and after a while came to a cross road in the path and took the right one heading up to the top of a mountain which I later found out was Puig des Teix.

At the top was a trig point. Three Spanish guys headed over to another ridge so I followed assuming there would be a path down to Deia at the edge. There wasn’t and it didn’t look right. I asked the guys who said I was in the wrong direction and had to go back. It turns out the path I thought was wrong earlier was actually correct.

When back on what was supposed to be the correct path, it still didn’t seem right. I could see Deia way below to my right, however the path was taking me away towards Valldemossa. And no signs anywhere to indicate I was on the correct route. After asking twice along the way I came to a peak (I think Puig des Caragolí )…and a marker. Faintly reading Deia down. So I took what was a long and often quite hazardous path down the mountain side. I could see why I’d been mistaken. If I’d gone what I thought would have been a natural route, I’d have ended up at the top of a very steep cliff side. The only way down was round where I’d gone.

February 20th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Cap Gros coastal path

After breakfast I caught a bus from Port de Pollenca to Palma, and bus from Palma to Port Soller. On the Pollenca bus I sat near a young mother with her child who had a bad case of chicken pox. I’ve already had it so no fear of catching, but I still felt contaminated! It wasn’t air conditioned and the ride seemed to take forever.

After unpacking I walked around the Port anti-clockwise to Cap Gros Lighthouse near Muleta, then saw a path following the cliff edge around Cap Gros and followed this to what appeared to be a dead end. A German women was ahead so I asked her the route. She didn’t seem to know and we came to another dead end. I spotted a local resting and asked him. He said it was not possible to walk the coast and I should go back to the main path. I however had a map from the tourist office that showed a path, so decided to recheck.

After looking I found a faint red arrow on one of the rocks. I pointed this out to the German women but she was clearly not impressed. So I headed off alone down a rugged path with little sign of previous walkers. But the signs were there occasional cairns helped me guide through the terrain. It took me up and down in a wiggly course, along the cliff tops and some superb views of the coastline.

Eventually I came to a point where the path appeared to end again. It was getting late and time was running out. After a while I managed to find the way again…and ended up on the end of a residential cul de sac. Following this out brought me back to the GR 221 and an hour later I was safely back at the port.

February 19th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Hotel Sis Pins

I booked to stay another night as the hotel Sis Pins was really good. Continental breakfast was self service with a good choice of meats and cereals, and a full English on offer delivered to the table by friendly staff. Everyone in this hotel seemed happy, so it made it perfect to stay in. It wasn’t great weather so the seating was inside the restaurant area but the window tables had a good view of the sea front. The room was good too and had tea/coffee, decent shower and balcony overlooking a side street.

In the evening I had Chinese buffet for 9.95euro which included chicken noodle soup, followed by sweet and sour chicken and finished with coffee.

February 18th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

To Port de Pollenca on GR221

I booked a night B&B in Hotel Sis Pins in Port de Pollenca, so decided to walk the GR221 from Lluc with my baggage on my back. This takes you through the woodland, and slowly down the mountains into Pollenca, followed by riverside walk most of way to Port de Pollenca. It too five hours and my leg was playing up on the last stretch.

When I’d unloaded my baggage I walked along the coast. Quite a calm relaxing place, but the weather was dull, and rain in the air. I wandered around to Placa Miguel Capllonch and had dinner there.

February 17th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

GR222 Lluc to Caimari

I walked stage 5 of the GR222 between Lluc and Caimari. The highlight of this route is reaching the Sa Bretxa Vella, view when you reach a cleft with rock pinnacle on left and The Puig Caragoler mountain to the right. When passing through here and turning the corner, you are greeted with a lovely view of the Serra de Llevant plains.  I then walked down the stone path to Caimari.

February 16th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Puig de Massanell on the GR 221

After breakfast, which was not a buffet this time, so a limited range of stuff was delivered to my table and still £8 euro, I decided to do the GR 221 from Lluc to Embassament de Cuber. It was a clear day and looked fine in the hills. The walk took me through the woods near Lluc and up a steep climb to the Casa de neu d’en Galileu (Snow House)

GR 221

The snow was a few inch deep and two Scandinavian girls passed dressed for winter here and I was wondering if I’d made the right move in my shorts and lightweight fleece. As I crossed the Puig d’en Galileu mountain top things became even more wintery. And then I saw the peak of Majorca’s second largest mountain, Puig de Massanella and a snow covered valley. Winter conditions all around and no idea if I was on the right path.

As I descended the GR221 into the valley between the two mountains a Spanish guy asked where I was from. And we talked for a while he seemed to think my plan to get to Cuber and back to Lluc was a bit flawed, and said the best way to Lluc was to go back the way I came. But I was convinced there was a way back by road and I’d be ok. So I carried on.

Me near Puig de Massanella

I met another Majorcan climber who laughed at me and said “you’re not from here are you” as he scanned me up and down looking at my walking shoes with socks and shorts. He suggested an alternative way back to Lluc, but it meant moving from the clearly marked GR221 and I wasn’t confident. I walked with him for a while to the side of the Puig de Massanella. And it was beautiful with views of Puig Major to the right. But the snow was 12 in deep – thankfully hard, so I walked on the surface, digging heels in to avoid slipping. Amateur abroad lol. Aware that time was passing I sped down the hill and the snow started to become softer and wetter. By the time I reached the base I was soaked through.

Gorg Blaum

I followed a huge drain pipe around the south side of the Embassament des Gorg Blaum, and then on to Embassament de Cuber. I didn’t have time to go round Embassament de Cuber so headed down the MA10 and round the north side of the Embassament des Gorg Blaum. The rest of the journey was on the MA10 back to Lluc via Escorca and a glimpse of the gorge Torrent de Pareis.

February 15th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Climbing Puig Tomir

Buffet breakfast in the Sanctuary included cold meats, cheese, bread, cereals jam and croissants plus orange juice and coffee all for 8 Euro. After this I set off on the Volta a La Moleta De Binifaldo trail and detoured to Puig Tomir. It was cold and cloudy start and the mountain top had a thin covering of snow.

On the way up I felt uneasy on my feet as my super grip shoes (read shite-grip) were slipping on the well worn rock. Part of the climb included using chain aid. At the top I used the cairns to help my navigate the snow covered path.

When I reached the summit and trig point the wind was icy and strong making it difficult to stand up. The views were spectacular though.

The climb down was quite scary as I slipped several times.

February 14th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

Arrival in Lluc

Jez drove the four of us to Lluc where I had booked a room in the Sanctuary for four nights. It was raining so we sat and had coffee and cake. When the other three left I unpacked before going for my first walk on the Cometa Des Morts Trail. This trail takes you through karst landscape, and to the Cometa Des Morts cave.

The room was on the first floor of the Sanctuary and had heating, a shower and a TV. Really good value, but Wifi was only available in a downstairs internet room and you paid for the privilege.

After a shower I went for dinner at the Ca s’Amitger restaurant. Beer and olives, while I waited for the service to start. I had Monkfish with sliced potato in sauce.

February 13th, 2016 by Peter Bargh

balancing stones

Walk with Debra to Sa Torre village and down to coast. It’s spectacular down there when the tide as angry. We played with balancing stones to create towers and watched the waves. It wasn’t all that warm, but no coat needed.
In the evening we went with Jez and Julie local for tapas, followed by Italian. I had a curried chicken which was very mild.