Tuesday 18th February A grave day! 108 km
Another dull and cloudy morning. We sent the email for the first part of the website and received a lot of nice replies from people concerned about my poor health.
We left at 11.30 and drove to Alaigor a town built on a hillside with tiny roads, all one way and we went in circles trying to get to the 'church on the hill' we had seen as we entered the town. When we finally found it, it was not very impressive from the town side, so with the help of the sat-nav we managed to extricate ourselves via a little lane, back to the main road We drove on up the centre of the island stopping opposite a large rock, reminding us of Pena Tu in Asturias, Northern Spain, to eat our lunch.
We then drove on to Cala Morrell, north of Ciutadella, where there were a spattering of sparkling white houses, but all was dead quiet today. We drove down to the cove, where there was a small beach.
A 'Pena Tu' rock near Es Mercadal
There were several caves and necropolises (graves) above the village which Adrian visited. The nice thing in this cool, wintry weather was that we could just stop and have a look. At least Adrian could, but I couldn't because of my bad balance.
We left there and drove back, and turned on to a good wide road, the map giving us no idea why this road was here. When we reached the end there was masses of parking and with the help of an information board we realised that you could walk through woods to a beach called Cala D'Algaiarens. I waited in the car while Adrian went. He returned most upset that I hadn't been able see the beach. It must get really crowded in summer but there was hardly anybody today and it was just our sort of amazing white sandy wild beach.
Caves and necropolises (graves) at Cala Morell
We drove back on the main road towards the cottage, stopping once more at - ancient burial chambers - where again Adrian went on his own. As his back was hurting, this time he came back with the thought that 'It was along way to go to see a rock', which is what Tom had said of Ayers Rock in Australia after hitch hiking for several days!
The wonderful beach at Cala D'Algaiarens which I didn't see
Naveta des Tudons
Wednesday 19th February San Bon and around 58km
We were up late so didn't leave until 1.30, after moving the car and sitting in the half sun for lunch. The only thing wrong with this place is that it is behind the main house and there is no sun on it (when it's out!).
We had decided to drive to Son Bou, a resort on the coast. All the buildings were whitewashed, and most were large villas set in their own plots so it didn't look too bad. That is apart from the two large hotels on the front, totally out of character of the place. It was all deserted There was a massive beautiful white sandy beach 3km long, which I managed, with Adrian's help, to walk to.
We drove back past the hotels where Adrian walked to an early 5th century Christian basilica almost on the beach.
The sandy beach at San Bou
We had seen troglodyte homes set into the cliffs.
We then drove round and about to the ancient site called Torre d'en Gaumes, where there were several cars parked in the rough carpark. Although now sunny, we thought it too large to walk around.
Remains of an early Christian basilica
Instead we drove into nearby Alaior where we shopped in a supermarket. Here we bought, amongst other things a delicious long loaf. We came back and ate some in the sunshine. It was already 4.45.
The remains of the Talayotic village (c500 BC) at Torre d'en Gaumes
After supper we had a long phone conversation with Simon before starting the second website.
Back for a cup of tea - in the sunshine!
Thursday 20th February Long drives going nowhere 156 km
We did the washing, but it is a long cycle, and hadn't finished by the time we'd had coffee and left at 11.30.
It was sunny with a clear blue sky as we drove to the other end of the island. We drove to Cap d'Artuix where we could look across to Majorca from beside the lighthouse.
The conglomeration of low-key housing was all beautifully whitewashed. We then went round in circles of one way streets in Cala en Bosc and finally stopped by the marina to eat our sandwich lunch. All the boats and housing were white. This place must be a nightmare (to us at least) in the summer.
Majorca from beside the lighthouse at Cap d'Artuix
We now drove down lanes edged with dry stone walls and yellow Cape sorrel, which looked extra bright in the sunshine.
Lunchtime stop at Cala en Bosc
The whole of Minorca, as Simon described it is like a fish bone where there is one central road and all others down to beaches and villages are go & return.
And so we drove back, and down again and passed St Juan de Missa hermitage church, which appeared to be closed. We continued along country lanes to Macarella beach, which is supposed to be beautiful, but this was a 15 minute downhill walk (so longer back) - too much for us to contemplate. A sign said that because of the rough surface, it was not suitable for those with limited ability!
On our return, we stopped by the Missa Hermitage. We found another gate which was open and walked up to it, but you couldn't get inside. It looked very evocative in its stark white, with the blue sky, the yellow sorrel and the green vegetation.
Bright Cape sorrel and dry stone walls line the road everywhere
We drove right down to Son Saura and began walking through the delightful woods, but I soon had to give up, and return to the car. Adrian continued to the vast white sandy beach. The sun was now hot, and the sky a clear azure blue.
We set off through the lovely woods at Son Saura
Son Saura Beach
We left there and went back to the main road. We needed a bit more shopping - we had forgotten Adrian's milk yesterday - so thought that we would go back to the supermarket in Alaior, as we had found that so easily before. Not so this time - We couldn't find it, had to wait ages at the traffic lights, then took the wrong turning to get back. However we finally triumphed. We returned 'home' and as we had bought another delicious loaf, there was just enough sun to enjoy a piece with our cup of tea! We had stopped at a petrol station, as we needed some more fuel, but Adrian couldn't open the filler cover! He spent a long time when we got back looking on the computer to see how to open it! so we will be able to get more petrol tomorrow.
St Juan de Missa Hermitage
Friday 21st February Talati de Dalt 16 km
After breakfast we hung out the washing, but it didn't feel as dry as the last time, when we brought it in later, although it was a sunny day. I wrote several emails, as a lot of people had written when they heard about my situation.
We had our tea/coffee outside, but had to wipe the piles of yellow pollen off the chairs first. Afterwards Adrian walked around the garden. I had intended to but had to suffice with sitting on a chair. Some men had come to do work on the swimming pool. Adrian tried chatting to them, but they didn't speak English.
We ate our lunch out the front and left at 2.30. We drove into Mao to buy a few elusive things. The batteries for my blood pressure monitor were in the supermarket, but upstairs! While in there, Adrian couldn't help getting a loaf and some fish- perhaps hoping for a miracle, while I had to dash for the loo, which was far downstairs!
We then spent a long time in the one way system hunting for the petrol station, so that Adrian could get some fuel, now that he had found how to work the petrol cap! We also found a chemist so that he could get pills for his constipation that his new back pain pills (which aren't working for the back) had caused.
All exciting stuff! We had decided to go back to the prehistoric site of Talati de dalt, which we had seen briefly the other day, but thought was closed We later discovered that it was open, and free in winter. Even so, it was too much for me to walk around, so while I sat on a rock in the sunshine amongst myriads of daisies, where it was still hilly, Adrian walked around this amazing site of prehistoric stones.
Walking around 'our' garden
Our 'cottage' is to the left of the main house
When we got back to the cottage, Adrian chatted to the owner Michael (who doesn't speak English and so some of it was via google translate on his phone) before we had a cup of tea and piece of bread in the sunshine. They gave him some more fresh eggs, but in fact we'd just bought some.
We did more of the website and started reading through the diary.
The ancient Talayotic village (c500 BC) site of Talati de dalt
Saturday 22nd February (22/02/2020) - lots of 2s Fornells and around 74km
We left at 10.00. Today we were going to Fornells, on the coast. We stopped for coffee on a seat by the sea. It was very peaceful. A man was sitting on the end of the pier and a young boy was collecting bait from the edge of the sea. Two little boys gleefully cycled along. In the hot sun it was lovely, but we imagine that it would be very different in summer, when you wouldn't be able to find a spot to park.
We drove on round to the Platge de Fornells, passing the first block of half built flats that we had seen in Minorca. In fact today we saw some more including one large hotel but this is more building work than we have seen since we got here. We were looking across to Cap de Cavalleria, where we were on Friday a week ago.
We drove on to Son Parc and stopped in a roughly surfaced but empty car park above a nice cove, Arenal de s'Olla. Around it, all the apartments and houses were painted white. We ate our sandwich for lunch with our lovely view. Afterwards, with much difficulty and with Adrian's help, we walked down on the wooden jetty to the vast, sandy but deserted beach. This is an area of Golf courses.
Cap de Cavalleria, where we were on Friday a week ago
We drove on round to Arenal d'en Castell, where we stopped by the round bay which had a lot of development surrounding it. We walked down steps to the beach, which had a sign saying 'no dogs'. It reminded us of the Geoff Lakeman's song 'You can't bring your doggy down here.'
Arenal de s'Olla
Back in the car, we drove 'home', getting there at 2.30. I sat out in the sunshine until we had our cup of tea.
We talked to Simon & Manolo on phone/WhatsApp as they were visiting Paul & family tonight.
Arenal d'en Castell
Of course it was these beautiful beaches that was their downfall for being exploited.
Sunday 23rd February Ferreries and some more lovely beaches 94km
I cooked poached egg for breakfast, before the water went off. It came back on in time for us to have coffee outside, before leaving at 11.15 on a nice sunny day. We were aware how horrible the weather is in England.
At Ferreries, both the shoe and the cheese factory were not open despite our book saying they were open on Sundays. We drove around the narrow lanes of the town, where all was quiet and everything seemed to be closed.
We drove on down to Cala Galdana, which was in a lovely position on the coast. There was now a lot of development both in the upper and the lower town. All was quiet today though. We walked down onto the beach where the river comes out, but the sandy part was across a footbridge over the river and it was too far for us to walk, so it was a long drive around by car.
Today we hadn't brought our lunch with us, hoping to get something at a cafe, but hadn't seen anywhere. We drove back to Ferreries and luckily we passed Pizzeri Bobby, which Adrian had spied the first time we were there. It was pretty busy, and got much more so later - perhaps because it appeared to be the only place open. Anyway, it was pretty good, and really atmospheric. I had tacos with cheese, and Adrian had tuna baguette and we shared a beer. Afterwards we shared a creme Catalan, like a frozen creme brulee. Our waiter (owner?) spoke some English
Where the river comes out to the sea. Cala Galdana
We ended up at a lookout above the beach. There were two large white hotels ruining the view.
The beach at Cala Galdana (minus hotels)
. We left at 2.30 and drove back down to the coast at St Thomas and sat on a wall by the sea. This long beach was an extension of the sandy one from Son Bou, but wasn't sandy at this point. Several people were walking along - little children were on their bikes. One little girl fell off.
We left here at 3.10, and after having a look at the sandy part of the beach, where Adrian walked down, we got back at 4 o'clock.
The atmospheric snack bar where we had lunch
Adrian cooked the sea bream outside - they were rather large! After supper we got the website up to date and read through the diary.
Monday 24th February Our last day on Menorca 45km
The weather forecast was for 20°C, whereas in England it was 8°C! We left after coffee for Cala en Porter. In our book, this was said to be 'grotty', but on a beautiful winter's day, with very few people about, it was really pleasant! All the accommodation, mostly low rise, was painted sparkling white. It was set around a pretty cove, where we walked onto the fine white sand.
Afterwards we drove back into Mao for Adrian to buy some booze to take home. It was very busy, and we had trouble finding anywhere to park for the supermarket. Afterwards it was difficult finding the way into the petrol station to leave the tank full for tomorrow.
This done, we drove back to the cottage, and ate lunch sitting in the sun out the front
We did some packing up, then after supper played yahtzee and fives and twos.
Looking down from above Cala en Porter
The beach at Cala en Porter
Tuesday 25th February Home Joe! 12km (on Menorca)
Time to finish packing up. We were ready by 10.30. It was sunny with a blue sky. Lola and Michael arrived back, so said goodbye. They said that the weather in Menorca was only cold for about 2-3 weeks in winter. Lots of British people had places here, particularly at Cala en Porter, where we were yesterday. There were a lot of French too. The Germans settled more in Majorca.
We left for the airport at about 11.00. stopping to dump a bag of rubbish. At the airport we had to find the place to leave the car. Adrian dropped me at departures and found the place to park, where you then just dropped the keys in a box!. People were very pleasant, particularly the Special Assistance staff. We got onto the plane early (Special assistance first) for the 1.15 departure. The flight was OK. At Gatwick we had a long wait for a buggy, then all was straightforward. It was a long walk to 'Meet & Greet', now 5.00pm (4.00pm). England looked very drab & cloudy, but it was lovely to see some daffodils and blossom, but not the traffic! We soon had a shower of rain. We arrived home just before 6.00 local time.
Menorca would be a good place for walkers, perhaps a bit later in the year. In summer it would be too crowded for us. Although not dramatic, there is some lovely scenery and it is a really pleasant island.
Total distance travelled on Menorca - 950km