As we hadn’t managed to circumnavigate the island, we decided to rent a car on our last day in Mallorca and do it by land instead. In fact, it gave us another dimension of the place and in many ways was perhaps better than doing it by boat …. but we both agreed that we prefer traveling by sea, especially after the nth roundabout.
We headed northwest through Artà that is in the foothills of the eastern mountain range, the Serres de Llevant, past the bay of Alcudia to Pollença where we had a short stop. Although far too brief, we had a very favorable impression of Pollença (photo at top doesnt do it justice); it is fairly touristy with a long beach and a relatively well protected harbor with anchoring possibilities, but is certainly picturesque, being bordered on the north by the most impressive cliffs that lead out to the Cap de Formentor, the most northerly point of Mallorca. From there we took a minor road through the much higher western mountain range, the Serra de Tramuntana, via Lluc and Fornaltux to Sóller. We decided that many tourists who come to Mallorca are very fit, judging by the number of cyclists we met all along the tortuous route that must have approached 1000 m altitude in places!
The port of Sóller is really the only protected harbor along that NW coast. It has a relatively small entrance then opens up behind so there is room for quite a lot of boats, most of which are docked in one of the two marinas. Although the town of Sóller some 5 miles inland is reputed to be grander, the port also gave the impression of having seen wealth in its time with its narrow gauge tram, reminiscent of San Francisco with its wooden carriages, that shuttles people between the two towns. They say the citrus groves in the valley were originally responsible for the wealth of the area. We met another couple who had overwintered in Cartagena with us but they were having a liquid lunch whereas we preferred a bit more sustenance so we parted company. €15 for a 3-course Menu del Dia along the front fitted the bill nicely.
From Sóller we went to Deià, then Valdermossa but the road seemed much further than it looked on the map because of all the twists and turns. We didn’t stop in either, mainly because we didn’t find anywhere to park. The town of Deià clings to the sides of the valley with terraces for olive and almond trees that must have been created over the centuries. The return trip to Cala Ratjada took us to the outskirts of Palma then through the middle of the island on a dual carriageway to Mannacor, not so exciting but much easier driving!
After dropping off the car and walking along the front Howard stopped off to have his feet eaten by fish, originally a Thai invention, at the local fish spa. The ‘Doctor’ fish were rather hungry and after 15 slightly ticklish minutes and possibly several mg of dead skin the rather interesting episode was over. At least he had clean feet!
This morning we left Ratjada around 11am and had some pleasant sailing en route to Cala Galdena, Menorca. We ran the engine and generator for a while to operate the newly refurbished watermaker. Very happy to report that we are making good quality water at a rate of about 16 gal/h.