|This must be the dreaded Caca.|
"Shine bite like a dead man," Herbert the Venezuelan Pearl Diving Instructor sings along, too late and sounding nothing like Rihanna. We are on our way to our fourth hike, somewhere in the north--which is nowhere near Port Andratx. That's all I know.
Problem is, on Mallorca the radio stations go in and out, so it's hard to make it through a complete dance set before you get to your hike somewhere up north. Once, we have to listen to Spanish talk radio for 15 minutes. I laugh occasionally to make Herbie think I understand Spanish. Sucker.
"They don't look that dangerous to me," I say. "Or that big either."
"They are people, not animals," says Herbie.
"True," I say. "And it's also true that your sense of humor needs oiling."
Herbie unzips his backpack and hands me his sunscreen . . . in earnest. "Right," I say. "Right."
This will be a special day, but we don't know it yet. The trail, in the beginning, is wide and even and pleasant and all those other positive words. It's rocky too, but we're used to rocky by now. We're the Rocksters. We rock. We encounter a group of hikers with a dog, which attaches itself to me because I'm adorable. Once I shake the little guy, we're able to walk up the mountain in peace and solitude and . . .
But when we reach the ridge, we see that we are not alone in these here hills. Today 300 cross-country runners are trudging up and down the mountains with us. We pause for a moment to ask the organizers which way Alcudia is. One of the organizers, crying Vamos! Vamos! to the runners while talking to us, tries to get us to take a route that would not interfere with the race. We, however, choose to take the route that puts us very much in the way of around 200 runners. Go, us!
"Ha ha ha! Si, si! I know: we're going the wrong way," I say for the twelfth time.
One runner stops and asks Herbie in German if he has a big beer--because, although Herbie is obviously Venezuelan, he looks remarkably German.
Some of the runners are actually walking, limping and crawling up the mountain. I am tempted several times to cry Vamos! Vamos! as well, but I'm glad I don't. After several kilometers it becomes clear to us that these runners have already run or walked or crawled over two mountains. The race has to be more than 20 kilometers.
I have forgotten to mention that Herbie has promised me ruins on this hike. I have not seen any ruins, and I am holding this against Herbie. I'm suffering from severe ruin-deprivation when we finally reach something that Herb tries to pass off as a ruin. In perfect condition, it's a building that looks like an old--yet beautifully restored--church. If you want to know which church and maybe a bit about its history, you'll probably need to head off to a blog that's heavier on the info than mine.
OK, so I just felt lame for not looking it up for you. It's the ermita de la victòria, and that link I've just provided needs to be edited in a large honking way. Who can't look up how to spell welcome? It's a renovated church: renovated as a hotel of course. ka-ching.
|ermita de la victòria|
Tomorrow Day 5 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), available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle.