Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Five Days of Hiking on Mallorca in February -- Day 2

Hiking on Mallorca in February


Herbert the Venezuelan Pearl Diving Instructor--do Venezuelans even pearl-dive?--was supposed to highlight the route for me so that I could better remember where we hiked. I'm still waiting for this. Herb is slacking, but onward. Forced to use the creaky facility of my sorry mind, I give you the second day of hiking from memory:

"You need to dress more warmly," Herbert the Venezuelan Pearl Diving Instructor says. We're still in our hotel room, but Herbie is already wearing his sunglasses.

"Oh come on. Don't be such a wuss."

"No really. We are going to hike at around 1000 meters, so it will be chilly."

I put a pullover in the backpack. How chilly can it get? The sun is out. The radio tells us there's a 1% chance of rain. The birds are tweeting. After about a 30-minute drive, though, there's more gray and goats than sun and birdies. When I stop to use the public toilet (the forest), I get my first brisk hint of chilly. It will indeed be chilly.

We go cross-country skiing every year in -20-degree weather. The sweat forms snow on our backs, and we can rarely feel our extremities (if you know what I mean). We are rugged. I pfiff on chilly.

Rock Wall

Hmmm. We can bear chilly for about two hours. It's a beautiful, scrubby place. It's windy and very rocky. There are a few other hikers: mostly Germans used to hiking in any weather and various degrees of rockiness. There are lots of sheep too. And rock walls. But after an hour, we decide to turn around and find a sunnier place to hike--not because we are wusses but because we want to work on our tans. I hope this clarifies that we are not wusses.

And we find a great place. You might never find it unless someone tells you about it. Opposite a scenic look-out restaurant on the main road--you'll have to ask Herbert for more details; God knows I'm useless without the highlighting Herbie promised but has yet to deliver--you'll find an unassuming trail that leads back into the olive groves. Like all walks on Mallorca it's a rocky affair. Bring along hiking boots . . . and put them on your feet. And watch your step. You could easily twist an ankle here, and there wouldn't be anyone to carry you out except a few adorable, yet useless, sheep.


Um . . . Sheep

I love sheep. They're shy and skittish. This flock happens upon us, and they stare at me for quite a long time. Just as they seem to accept me as one of their own--Gorillas in the Mist-style--my camera scares them off. This despite my relative fluency in Sheepish. I know about 300 Sheepish words including of course Mahhhh-ahh-ahhh, Mahhhhhhhh and Bahhh-ah-ahhhh. I converse with an old sheep for a few minutes, so I'm a bit disappointed when they all run off. I"m pretty sure I said "I come in peace" in Sheepish, but it might have come out "I almost always order lamb filets at my favorite Greek restaurant."

After two more hours, we head back to the scenic look-out restaurant where I have a tortilla and a glass of fairly good white wine. A tortilla in Spain is a pie made with eggs, potatoes and cheese (and sometimes other ingredients like fish and mushrooms). It is gluten-free and it's filling after a good hike.

Tortilla espanol y vino blanco --Gluten-free

The scene from the scenic look-out restaurant is Sóller, a popular destination on Mallorca. We decide to wrap up our day with another glass of white wine at the harbor. If I were to live on Mallorca, this little town would be the perfect place. Here are few impressions of Sóller.

Sóller, Mallorca

Sóller, Mallorca

Check out that rainbow on the beach!

Tomorrow Day 3 of Five Days of Hiking on Mallorca in February.

I must be off,


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire)