Dodging Bottomless Pits in the Half Light


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Europe » Spain » Balearic Islands » Majorca » Cala Sant Vicenç
August 19th 2019
Published: August 20th 2019
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Issy decides to sleep in after a long day of travelling, so I climb up to the hotel roof to check out the pool. It’s very small and less than a metre deep, but refreshing nonetheless. The pool is directly above the room occupied by our neighbours from across the corridor. I’m suddenly feeling quite glad that we don’t have the room across the corridor; I think I might start to panic if I felt the ceiling above me start to leak in the middle of the night. The other reason I’m glad we don’t have the room across the corridor is that it looks like it looks out onto a concrete wall, whereas ours looks out onto a spectacular beach. I hope the room across the corridor is cheap.

I stretch out on a sunlounge and soak in the peace. This is suddenly interrupted by thunderously loud dance music which sounds like it‘s coming from the swimming pool in the hotel next door. That pool is much bigger than ours and seems to be about as deep as a normal swimming pool. I think this might be because unlike ours it’s been built on the ground and doesn’t have any cheap hotel rooms directly underneath it. I peer over the balcony to see an aqua aerobics class in full swing with a pool full of fifty-something tourists dancing around like frisky teenagers, as their bemused companions and families look on. Fortunately they run out of puff quite quickly, so the music soon stops and peace returns.

The peace is quickly replaced by the sound of someone having a very one-sided conversation in what sounds like German. I turn around to see a fifty-something man reading a novel aloud and with great expression to his partner who’s stretched out on a sunlounge beside him. She looks like she’s either asleep or at least very relaxed so I don’t think the novel’s a horror story, or if it is it’s not a particularly interesting one.

I’m the only person here by themselves so I go back to the room to see if I can coax Issy out of her slumber. I tell her that I‘m having a lot of trouble trying to stop all the bikini clad Scandinavian girls around the pool from buying me drinks. I think she knows that what I really mean is that I feel like everyone else around the pool thinks that I’m a creepy old man lying there by himself, and that I’m so desperate for people to think that I might have a friend that I’ve even laid out a beach towel on the empty sunlounge next to me.

The beach looks very inviting so I go down to investigate more closely. It looked sandy when we arrived last night but close up it’s a lot more pebbles than sand. It’s very rocky underfoot and gently sloping, and getting out to swimming depth without falling over proves to be a bit of a challenge. I feel slightly better when I see that everyone else seems to be having the same problem. The water’s very pleasant nevertheless.

We wander up the hill around the headland on the right hand side of the beach. Youngsters are jumping and diving off the cliffs into the sea below. There are no obvious signs of blood in the water so presumably it’s a bit deeper here than it was closer to the beach. We walk down onto Playa de Cala Molins beach in the cove next door. This beach looks very similar to ours only with a lot more sand and a lot fewer rocks. Getting into the water might be a bit less problematic here.

The scenery all around here is spectacular, with beaches and deep blue coloured water surrounded by steep rocky cliffs and mountains.

I decide to go for a late afternoon hike up to the tip of the cape on the left hand side of our beach. The website I look at tells me that it’s an easy two kilometre stroll along a wide and well marked track. It looked easy to find on the map, but it’s proving a tad more difficult in practice. The only path I can find stops abruptly at a stone fence. I scramble up over steep rocks to the top of nearest hill to see if I can see the track I’m supposed to be on. I can now see it in the distance in the valley below, but seeing it and getting to it are two different things. I scramble towards it down more steep rocks and then fight my way through thorns and thick head high grass to reach it. The track winds steadily upwards and then stops abruptly without seemingly having reached anywhere, so I scramble up some more steep rocks to the top of the hill above it. The views from up here along the west coast of the island and across to Cap de Formentor at its northern tip as the sun is setting are spectacular.

I start scrambling back down the steep rocks towards the track, before coming across a large and very deep hole. Wandering around here in the half light suddenly doesn’t seem like such a great idea. I’d read that there were caves up here but I hadn’t expected anything quite as big, deep or vertical as this. I didn’t tell Issy where I was going, and the only living things I’ve seen in the last hour or so are mountain goats. They look friendly enough, but I’m fairly sure they’re not going to raise the alarm if I disappear down a bottomless pit.

I decide that it might be better for everyone if Issy was spared the details of my afternoon’s adventure. The blood that’s all over my legs from scrambling through the thorns might be a bit of a giveaway, so I go for a swim to try to wash it off before I go back to the room. Hopefully she won’t ask too many questions.


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24th August 2019
Playa de Cala Barques

Eager to see this part of the world
Beautiful.
2nd September 2019
Playa de Cala Barques

Majorca
This was indeed a beautiful place.

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