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Soller, north west Mallorca

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I didn't fancy Mallorca at all, not for a walking holiday anyway, but how wrong can one be. Our destination was Soller, a town set just back from the coast and an excellent location from which to explore the Tramuntana mountain range. We flew direct from Belfast to Palma and then picked up 3 cars (for a group often) and headed off to our (luxury) villa just outside Soller. Returning from last year were Trevor, Dave, Gef, Mark and myself, and from previous years Frank, Stan, Tam and Brian, with one newcomer, Paul.

To accommodate such a large group (and to meet our annually increasing requirement for comfort) we rented what can only be described as a luxury villa, with eight bedrooms, lots of other space both inside and out, and a large swimming pool. This allowed us to eat lots of meals back at the house, ably prepared by Dave, Frank and Mark among others, although we did head out for a few great evening meals in Soller, nearby Fornalutx and a wonderful on the last near at Port de Soller.

So, to the walking. Sunday we as usual tried unsuccessfully to have a leisurely 'breaking in' walk, but managed to get lost several times and arrived home exhausted - that's quite a tradition now.  Monday we were much better organised, walking from Lluc to Pollenca having left cars at both ends. Tuesday for me was a rest day - Brian and I had a quiet lunch in Fornalutx while everyone else climbed some gigantic mountain. Wednesday we all headed off to Lake Cuber and up one of the highest peaks, L'ofre, from where we had a fantastic view in all directions. Thursday was another 'rest by the pool' for me, and quite a few others, and it is just as well given what we did Friday...

Friday, like every other day in Mallorca was gorgeous weather wise, but it was also the day we tackled the second largest gorge in Europe. On paper, as described by Trevor (I think he left a few bits out) it seemed a pleasant and interesting descent down to the sea. In reality it was 6 hrs + of steep descent through what can only be described as dangerous terrain, where (we found out afterwards) ropes are recommended. It was interesting to discover that if one spreads one's body out on the rocks and slowly slides down that friction prevents one falling to one's death :-)  Personally I have never been so exhausted in my life as when we eventually reached the bottom, where I settled for a cold beer and a few ice lollies in place of a swim. Still, we were all glad we did it, although maybe next time we might be a little better prepared (even a compass might have helped).

Saturday we managed to drag our weary bodies out of bed, had a leisurely breakfast, packed and headed of for lunch by the sea at Port Soller before heading back to the airport and home.

Reflections? For me it was just a little hot, although certainly better than the somewhat changeable weather we experienced in both Poland and Slovenia. Personally I would walk very early in such temperatures, laze by the pool in the afternoon, and then wander about and eat in the evening.  Accommodation was excellent, especially the pool - I think I could get used to that.

 
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