Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bóquer Valley

Sunday 3 June 2007
I went for a hike to Cala Bóquer today. There were about 30 people in the group and most were Mallorquin. Several spoke good English, but I spent much of the day with José who spoke to me in Mallorquin. He selected his words carefully and spoke slowly enough that I was able to understand much of what he had to say. He knew a lot about the plants of Mallorca, many of which are endemic. the hike to Cala Bóquer is quite easy, and mostly on good trails. We saw ancient walls built to mark the boundaries of properties, and as compounds for sheep. There are also some fortifications built during the civil war of the 1930s. There are still a lot of wild goats, some of whom are quite friendly and make a nuisance of themselves when we tried to eat something. We stopped to eat a bit at the cobble beach at the head of Cala Bóquer. Some stayed there, but most of us continued on to Punta La Troneta. This part of the hike is much more difficult. The only sign of a trail is red spots of paint on the rock and an occasional pile of rocks. Much of this part of the trail looks like a moonscape with few plants. The limestone is often eroded with shallow caves and rough sharp rock. I found salt in depressions more than 100 feet above the sea. The other hikers assured me that the waves sometimes crash against the rocks and send spray this high. The salt was quite tasty. We stopped to eat a bit and drink water in the shade of some of the caves. When we reached Punta La Troneta, some of our group attempted to climb down a steep cliff to a cave near sea level. They gave up when they ran out of rope and were being pushed around by the strong wind.

We returned to the beach at the head of Cala Bóquer for some lunch. I was offered tastes of liquors made by two of the Mallorquin men. They distill their own alcohol from what I am not sure, and add herbs from gardens and the wild. Each family has its own recipe. They were quite tasty. They gave me instructions for making my own and I may try it when I get home. One of the men brought a gas stove and an expresso machine. He made several batches and gave each of us a taste, adding his special liquor to mine. There was some discussion about going to a restaurant for paella, but that didn´t happen.

Elena Cisneros, a general practicioner in Palma, had arranged for me to go on this hike, and given me a ride to Port Polença. Malena Cabot went with us as well. Malena speaks English and Mallorquin perfectly. After taking Malena home, Elena took me to Valldemosa, a beautiful village in the Sierra Tramuntana. She showed me around the village. She took my picture at several view points, and showed me shops where I bought a few gifts. She introduced me to a friend who designs and makes clothing. I saw some very artistic quilts as well. We stopped at a café before returning to Palma. Elena ordered a coffee and I an horchata de chufa, a plant much like the nut sedge that grows in the vineyards of the San Joaquin valley in California. These nuts come from Spain and Africa.

After Elena took me back to Angel´s apartment, I heated up the barbecued ribs that I made yesterday. I served them with a salad, and Angel bought a baguette from the bakery down stairs. We ate at about 2130 and I was asleep by 2300.

1 comment:

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