Smokin’!

Driving down the lane from a trip to town yesterday, The Boss spotted an unfamiliar elderly lady walking with the aid of sticks, who paused near our old holm oak tree. Sadly we’ve experienced an elderly person – suffering dementia and wandering vaguely – before, so The Boss stopped the car and wound down the window to greet her and check that she was OK.

It transpired that the lady was visiting a neighbouring finca, where a younger woman was busy attending to a bonfire in the field. At the sound of conversation, this fire guardian came out into the lane and joined in the chat. Spotting that the woman’s hat was smouldering on top of her head, The Boss immediately alerted her to the fact. She threw the offending hat to the ground, stamped on it and proceeded to pat the top of her head urgently to extinguish any possible flames.  (All was well up there, in case you’re concerned).

This little incident was over in a matter of minutes and certainly wasn’t captured on camera. It’s a lesson to anyone though that bonfires can be dangerous things. Indeed, The Boss once set light to his own trousers without noticing, until things got a little warm down there. I didn’t get a photo of that either … but here’s a shot of our own finca’s now more-cautious fire-starter in action.

Bonfire

Smokin’ but no flames yet

 

 

Finding Mallorca’s “loneliest area”

The best-known walks and hikes on Mallorca are in the Serra de Tramuntana, but you don’t have to head to the magnificent mountains to enjoy great views and decent walks.

This morning began very windy but mild. The thermometer in the shade on the terrace was already registering 18 degrees C before breakfast, so we decided to brave the hoolie that was blowing and check out a walk we’d read about in a book I bought recently in Palma.

As we parked the car on the side of a quiet country road, near the small town of Sant Llorenç, the sun was shining out of a bright blue sky. It looked perfect, but for the trees waving from side to side like a swinging pendulum. I figured the few extra pounds gained over Christmas (which this year’s walking effort has not yet shifted) would act as a kind of ballast and stop me flying off like an umbrella-less Mary Poppins.

Old stone drinking troughs - a marker for the route

Old stone drinking troughs – a marker for the route

Our walk to the Muntanya de Calicant started on a dirt track leading up to a manor house with old stone drinking troughs beside it. Despite the fierce wind, a bonfire was burning in the garden – with nobody in sight anywhere it.

After a while we crossed a dried-up river bed and then began the more challenging part of the walk, as the path up to the Calicant mountain is pretty indistinct in places and, at times, we were pushing our way through long, almost pampas-like grass, to follow the path. It’s a really stony route and I recommend using walking poles. Actually, a machete for all the vegetation obscuring the route would have been useful…

Bucolic beauty

Bucolic beauty

Cairns to mark the route are not always obvious in such stony surroundings

Cairns to mark the route are not always obvious in such stony surroundings

The nearby mountain known as Es Telegraf

The nearby mountain known as Es Telegraf

Gone were the blue skies...

Gone were the blue skies…

"Humans! Didn't they see the weather forecast?"

“Humans! Didn’t they see the weather forecast?”

Our goal was the top of the Calicant mountain, from which we had read that the Bay of Alcúdia is visible, but we didn’t make it today. What had started as a beautiful spring-like (albeit very windy) day had turned into one threatening rain. Shortly after we reluctantly turned back – to avoid getting soaked – the rain began to fall.

Our book describes this as “one of the loneliest areas on the island” and we didn’t see any other people for the duration of the walk. They probably all have a better weather-forecasting app than we do…