Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Mallorca Day 29 - walk to the Torre Picarda

My options today were a) stay home and baby the cold or b) go with my original plan and walk up to the watchtower. I went with b) and walking up the road from the roundabout I was soon out of the residential area and had views of the mountains.
Eve and I had seen this the other day, Torre written on the metal post, so this is where I left the road and headed up a narrow track.
This shot is looking down. It was up, up, up. through olive groves
past sheep, sheds, small homesteads and this abandoned building.
At one of the twists in the road (there were a lot) were some stone steps, a small gap between a fence and a gate and TORRE scratched in the cement.

Through the gap and there were a number of possible paths. I took of my backpack and consulted the hiking trails map from the apartment. The couple coming behind me also stopped and we compared it to the phone app they were using and came to an agreement as to which path to take.

It was quite a wide gravel track, snaking uphill with occasional views of the sea.
Mostly pine trees, undergrowth and lots of these plants just starting to bloom.
Near the top, on one of the stone gate posts

a sign in 4 languages asking that you not litter with tissue or toilet paper??
A pretty basic, functional structure
on the top of a huge cliff
with great sea views
and down the coast

the next watchtower.
I sat and ate my sandwich and saw, way below, the boat Eve and I went on last week, on its way to the Calobra Beach.

Sketched the tower,
sketched a plant
and headed back the way I had come.
I was only gone for a couple of hours. It seems to be a popular walk but the people I met, or who passed me, were out for a stroll. It was definitely not an outing for the serious hikers who march up and down the mountains around here.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Mallorca Day 28 - Laying low in Port

The day before she left, Eve developed a cough and sore throat. Well now I have it. I met an Englishwoman today who said "everyone has got it" and blamed it on the English midterm holidays. She said she gets sick every year right after all the English school kids go home. Anyway sore throat, cough, runny nose, low grade fever; I thought it best just to hang out in Port today.
Fishing boat out in the bay. I went for my usual morning walk, starting in the commercial harbour.
One of the small fishing boats came in and
this was their catch; fish and squid.
Walking around the bay
major renos are being finished off,
the beach is being cleaned of the winter debris
and little places are being cleaned, aired out and
freshened up with a coat of paint. The season really starts here in March.
I vowed that while I don't have company I will sketch something every day. I haven't done one yet that I am happy with and I want to push myself a bit to sketch faster, with less emphasis on detail, in the hope that that will improve my end result, when I do take the time.
So I sat on the beach wall and did a quick one
in between watching an egret
I decided to have coffee at a restaurant that has just opened back up, at the far end of the bay
and decided I should try a classic still life as all the tables had lemons on them.
Kingfisher (the restaurant just below the apartment) re-opens on Wednesday, the sign is being redone
everything is being cleaned inside, all the table and chairs are out and all the flowers have been replaced in the planters along the ledge.
Around 5 or 6pm the big fishing boats come back in, followed by their flocks of gulls, then they carry the catch, along the dock, to a storage area. A lot more than that little boat this morning.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Mallorca Day 27 - Valldemossa by bus.

Eve and I were in Valldemossa on Thursday and were told the market was on Sunday so I decided to go back but didn't want to drive that road again.
When I got to the roundabout there were 2 buses there. One was the Palma Express, through the tunnel, and the other was the one that goes to Palma via Soller, Deia, Valldemossa and various other places. The bus area was crowded, mostly German walkers. At 9:50 we moved, on mass, to the front door of the bus and at 9:55 the driver opened it and we were on our way right on time at 10:00. Price to Valldemossa 2.55 Euro.
I sat about half way back, where the seats are higher and on the right hand side, (so I could see the coast views).
I was able to look down into the valleys at the little fincas (many with solar panels on their roofs) and along the coast at the huge villas with pools, tennis courts and sea views, that Eve had commented on, but I couldn't even glance at while driving.
It was a lovely way to get to Valldemossa and I will do it again. Both this bus driver and the one on the return trip were careful and polite drivers. They slowed and indicated to let other drivers pass them on the few straight places, they slowed and sometimes stopped going round bends as there were cars coming in the opposite direction.
A few times the bus took up both lanes to get around a bend and I know from the drive last Thursday that the back of the bus can swing out into the other lane. The trip took about an hour of fabulous scenery.
On arriving in Valldemossa I saw no evidence of a market. It was much the same as when we had been there on Thursday and no-one walking around with baskets of produce. I assumed we had been misinformed again and headed off to find the church. Away from the main tourist area the streets are narrow, many are pedestrian and there are plants and flowers everywhere.
St Bartholemew Catholic Church. The door was locked.
This was on the wall of the church. Translates to "Saint Catalina Thomas (also know as St Catherine of Palma) pray for us".
Every house has a tile.
There are quite a variety
Most are right by the door
lit and with flowers.
Behind the church, that first door on the left, is her birthplace. She was born in 1533 and canonized in 1930.
Its now a little chapel with her story and a suggested prayer in 8 languages on the walls. Also a place to make an offering.
Her statue beside the church.
I wandered this area some more
and then stopped for a coffee in this little cafe, where they gave me directions to the market.
It was on the other side of the main road in a parking lot.
I got some of the goat cheese.
Here I bought a huge red pepper and a large bunch of radishes (I asked the vendor to give me half the bunch but he shook his head and the woman beside me said, in Spanish, lots of vitamins!)
Some strange looking flowers.
Here I bought some caramelized almonds, still warm,
they were making them fresh.
There were also stalls with meat, olives, clothing, jewelry and 4 stalls selling leather products.
Walking back up to the palace I looked down on the cafe that Eve and I ate in
and round to the gardens behind with their bust of Chopin and rose beds.
I found lots of good views but
none of them had a place, in the sun, to sit and sketch,
until I sat down at the bus stop and realized I had a good view from there. It wasn't until I looked at this picture that I realized how wonky the sketch is.
I caught the bus at 2pm, not as full.
Pictures through the window again.
That's the church in Deia that Eve and I walked up to.
At one point we had to inch past a bus coming the other way.