At the end of the previous post I had just polished off a lovely meal at Feliciano’s restaurant in Peguera on the island of Mallorca, the destination of my latest holiday escape.
The next day was stunning weather-wise, so it was a good day for more exploring, photos, and walking, at a different part of the island from previous days. Firstly I headed to Soller, but not using the tunnel toll road but the old more scenic road, it may have quite a lot of hairpins and take much longer, but as a tourist who likes the countryside it’s much nicer with some great views. I didn’t go into Soller, I just don’t do cities and large towns generally (hate busyness and overcrowding), but skirted around the edge, and then along the quiet coast road eastwards and came across one fabulous view after the next, a lovely viewpoint overlooking Port De Soller, formidable limestone mountains and rocks, the quaint village of Fornalutx (see photo, right) along a side road, the two key reservoirs or Mallorca with striking emerald waters, and forests along the way. It’s difficult to pick which of my many photos to put here! Eventually I headed down towards the sea and to Port de sa Calobra, a tiny village in a beautiful bay, where I parked the car and then walked through illuminated, tiny tunnels to a scenically situated beach beyond, at the end of a stunning gorge; rather than join the crowd squashed onto the pebble beach between two cliff walls I instead headed inland for a way along the gorge, enjoying the tranquillity and bird song it offered, until the path became started to rise and fall from the valley floor and become more intense considering the time I had. Back at the car I retraced my steps to the main road and then continued on my driving loop to return to the hotel via sleepy towns and farming countryside. I ate dinner on the rooftop terrace of a different hotel in Peguera at a restaurant called La Gritta… and while it may get a high Tripadvisor rating I personally was somewhat disappointed apart from a lovely view, as while the service was generally very good, apart from a dreamy chocolate cake dessert the rest of the food was average and bland in taste, and the whole meal was ruined for me by being surrounded by chain-smoking Germans.
The next day the weather turned out to be rather mixed – it was perfectly fine around the west of the island and around my hotel, but my destination was the north east corner of the island and as I proceeded in that direction the skies were very grey and during the journey I even encountered a light rain shower or two. My destination, in a round about way, was Cap Formentor, the north eastern tip of the island with rocky cliffs that had been recommended by Tripadvisor… and subsequently my friend Kirsty – as it turned out, the visit was largely spoiled by the weather, and while the views from near the initial, and main, crowded car park were stunningly impressive views, further along the long, narrow road up to the end of the promontory the parking facilities were pitiful considering the opportunities for
views and at the end of land, I hastily turned around without parking as there was a huge queue of cars to get up to the lighthouse parking area; utter chaos, and it wasn’t even a weekend. As I headed back along the promontory the showers resumed and I decided to get away from the area as quickly as I could to try and find the sun again… and owing to the island’s compact nature that proved easy enough, less than an hour later I was back at my hotel, quickly changed, and then drove only a few miles into the hills and began what turned out to be a lovely, tranquil walk into the mountains… apart from finding this little, timid soul along the way (see right). My walk was partly along the GR221, one of the network of footpaths along crisscrossing the island, and after a while I encountered signs explaining points of interest along the way which made it very interesting; best of all, I figured this walk out myself without reference to any web/tourist info, so a pleasing find. In the evening, after a chill by the pool and changing, I treated myself to a meal at the hotel’s a la carte restaurant, where the food and the service were stunningly good – to start off with I had bread with five different types of salt and also olive oil to try, my starter was a smooth seafood soup with large prawns in it, my main a beautifully presented rack of lamb with what I think was orzo pasta (it looks like rice), and a tarte tatin for dessert; yum!
Alas my holiday was coming to an end and the next morning I checked out of my lovely hotel… but it was to be a very full final day with lots of strong sun… as a sun burnt neck attested to once home. I drove to a nice seaside town called Sant Elm, parked the car, and began what turned out to be a lovely climbing walk up the cliffs with ever more beautiful views of the island of Sa Dragonera (see photos right and below) as I went; my walk ended at an old, ruined monastery which was in the process of being restored; I met an old walker at a lovely viewpoint and had a quick word with him before returning to my car via a different path. Back in the car I still had several hours to go until dinner and so I took part of the coastal drive that I did the first day, albeit with much better weather this time, for better photos and slightly different views on quieter roads. I arrived back at Peguera at around 6.00pm and although I had already checked out from my hotel I sneaked into the grounds and had a leisurely half hour sitting beside the poll before changing in the ladies toilets nearby. Freshened up, I returned to my favourite restaurant in the town, Feliciano’s, where I had another great meal as well as lots of friendly chat with the owner – this time I had rabbit for starter in a rich tomato sauce, a lovely salmon steak for main with mustard sauce, and a tasty Crème Catalan for dessert. At that point it was time for my leisurely journey back to the airport… where it turned out that my flight was nearly 90 minutes late, and so I did not get home until the early hours of the morning and in fact by the time I got to bed at 4.30am it was starting to get light. Luckily I had taken the day off to recover… as well as to re-acclimatise to a very chilly Northern Ireland.