Join me as I recount and remember my first ever long distance solo hiking adventure crossing the Tramuntana Mountain Range in Mallorca in January 2018.
Walking this route had been a dream of mine for a few years when I was living in Mallorca.
Today I share with you Day 2 of my Mallorca GR221 adventure. To read Days 1 and 3 please click on the buttons below.
Thursday 18 January 2018
I slept really well in Sa Fita Backpacker refugio in Esporles and woke up early to a bright day. Esporles is such a pretty mountain town and has a lot of pleasant cafes and restaurants. Sadly, not of course open at the time I was planning on leaving this morning.
So I settled for a simple breakfast of fruit and toast. Before leaving I contemplated picking avocados from their tree outside that the manager had invited me to pick. I decided against it in the end because of the weight factor. They also weren’t going to be ripe for another day or two after picking.
This turned out to be one of my favourite places to stay. The kitchen was well equipped and organised in a clear way, with plenty of storage available for those staying longer.
I found it very clean with areas for storing your boots and wet gear near the door if necessary. Although I was lucky and it was dry weather, as is fairly typical in January on the island.
Whatsapp To Family
As usual, I started with a message to my family giving them an idea of what my day entailed:
06:39 Day 2 Mallorca GR221 Adventure Esporles to Valldemossa to Deia (19km) expected walking time 6-7 hrs. Weather forecast is partly cloudy with a high of 16°c currently 8°c, light winds. My hips are aching a bit this morning but all in all I’m in good shape. Only saw 1 other person in the hostel (Claudio from Romania here on work as painter/decorator) who drank a lot of beer and burnt his potatoes.
I’m leaving at first light (in about 20 mins) with the hope of getting to Valldemossa well before lunchtime as I only have chocolate and walnuts as food. Then will be onwards to Deía where friends Steffi & Dave will meet me for dinner. The book says that this is a challenging but rewarding day…
The Route to Valldemossa
I checked and rechecked the route to Valldemossa several times as I walked, as there are sections here that are a bit vague. It was, on the whole, relatively easy to follow though.
I came across a young guy just outside Esporles who was camping. As I passed by he was cooking his breakfast, so I chatted briefly with him and discovered that he was also walking the Mallorca GR221 route. It was lucky I did, as he called after me just after I left him telling me that I had missed an all important turning off the road!
A Little Company On The Road
Later on, he caught up with me, and we decided to walk together for a while. However, he was very speedy, so I let him go ahead so I could go at my own pace.
When I hike I do like to take my time and stop to take photos and have cups of tea (usually herbal), much to the amusement of friends. Maybe it’s because I’m an unfit newbie who doesn’t have the fitness yet to keep up the pace.
I really enjoyed breaking up the walking and having a brew on the way though, and stopping to admire the scenery as I went. On this trip, Matcha green tea was my favourite and I even brought a mini whisk with me to froth up the matcha.
Every morning I filled up my thermos at the hostel with boiling water to keep me going on the trail during the day 🙂
Lunch In Valldemossa
12:09 I’m in Valldemossa now and it’s suddenly really cloudy. I had a lovely lunch of aioli, bread, pepper, rocket and salt & vinegar pringles. Mind you I was so hungry that I could have chewed the corner off the wooden bench I’m sitting on and it would have tasted good!
And guess who I saw in Valldemossa? Yep, the young chap sitting on the bench having his lunch! So I guess I wasn’t that much slower hehehe.
The afternoon proved to be rather challenging all in all. And at one point I actually got a little bit scared. This part of the route involves crossing through some land over which there are disputes about the route. The landowners don’t want people passing through, even though there is a right of way. So many of the signs were missing, which made it disorientating, to say the least.
Lost In The Mist
To make matters worse, when I got to the top of the hill just before descending to Deia, a mist came in which made it almost impossible to see which way I needed to go. I felt as if I was wandering around in circles for hours trying to find the correct route. I had to get my paper map out and plot a bearing to the coast along with using a vague google map to help pinpoint my position!
Thank God for GPS on your phone as a backup! Eventually, the path revealed itself, the route was hidden close to some rocks and then went steeply downhill towards the village of Deia at the bottom.
Hiking In The Dark
At this point, however, it was already starting to get dark. And for those of you that don’t know, the sun rises and sets rather quickly in Mallorca compared to the UK. So within a short half an hour nighttime was upon me and my headtorch came out to help me push through the bushes in the darkness.
I also realised that I could have made life easier for myself if I hadn’t taken a wrong turn in the wooded section. I found out later that if I’d gone the other way it would have been much better signposted!!
Luckily this section of the path was much clearer, so I could see it using my headtorch. The signposts were also better down there.
Arrived In Deía
18:20 Finally arrived in Deía – phew. Got quite lost today, really badly signed route. Now with Steffi & Dave looking for a restaurant that’s open xxx
My friends were very relieved when I finally arrived. They were expecting me to arrive well before dark and were beginning to worry about me.
21:18 I’m in a refuge called Can Boi in Deía – I’m the only one here, so another great night of sleep ahead of me 😃
This hostel was very different to the last one, and seemed older and more like a mountain hostel. This was the first one of the those run by the local council (ayuntamiento) and I could therefore reserve it online.
The rooms were quite small with 4 bunk beds in each one. I imagine that if it was full it would have felt quite cramped and hot. Luckily, I didn’t have to worry about that.
I remember sleeping very heavily here after a lovely Mallorquian dinner in a local restaurant with a glass of wine 🙂