Peter Bargh

words pictures sounds
February 21st, 2016

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

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 16th, 2016

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.