Join me as I recount and remember my first ever long distance solo hiking adventure crossing the Tramuntana Mountain Range Mallorca GR221 route 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 5 of my adventure across Mallorca, which will take me through the mountains from Tossals Verds Refugio to Son Amer Refugio, This is the last mountain hostel of the route located just past the famous Lluc Monastery.
To read Days 1 to 4 please click on the buttons below.
The profile takes me up and over the mountain and back down the other side into Lluc valley.
It has 830 metres of climbing and 800 metres of descent.
Yes, it was another challenging day for my already tired legs. But with height there are views…and I really got the feeling that I was on top of the world on this section. To this day it remains my happy place to go to when I want to empower myself and create a visualisation of strength.
Tossals Verds was definitely my favourite hostel on the route. I loved the food, they brought fresh vegetables and everything they needed to make it each day on the premises. When you consider that it is located up the side of a remote mountain without daily deliveries, it is pretty astounding.
I started my day early with my usual body check and seemed all right albeit a bit stiff of course.
However, when I tried to get down from my bunk without waking up my three roommates I failed miserably. It seemed that I had no control over my legs they were so stiff.
I threw my disobedient, awkward body onto the floor and then scrabbled around looking for my clothes in the dark. Finally, I admitted defeat and got my headtorch out. It lit up the previously peaceful room like a beacon, bringing everyone groaning out of their slumber.
The Family WhatsApp
I sent my daily log from the breakfast room while eating my toast and jam and getting my thermos topped up. The staff were so friendly and willing to help you, not to mention full of smiles. It was a great start to the day.
07:21 Day 5 – Tossals Verds refuge to Son Amer refuge (Lluc), distance 16km, estimated walking time 6 hrs. Had a good night’s sleep in the hostel despite it being really busy with kids and people generally. Met a couple of other hiker guys – a Canadian and a Spanish guy. We are all going in different directions today though, but it was great to share stories and thoughts about the route. Am keen to get going now as the dining room is filling up with noisy excited children again. The weather forecast today is warm but very windy.
As I set off, going slowly at first to warm my legs up, it felt good to be out in the fresh air and moving again. I found myself reflecting a lot on my journey.
The Reflection of Others
There’s nothing like seeing and connecting with other people to give you a better reflection of where you are in your head. I really felt at peace. All my worries and fears seemed to have faded away to give room to live entirely in the present moment. I just had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, and I knew I would be fine.
A Wild Weather Forecast
My goodness! The weather forecast wasn’t joking about the wind! It was wild up there and the higher I got, the stronger it got.
At times I resorted to using my hands in an attempt to stay upright.
There was more than one spectacular sight though as I progressed. A dispersed group of fell runners came hurtling past me as though they were in a race (which they probably were). There were men and women of all ages literally running past me at top speed with slim hiking sticks.
I felt quite nervous for them at times, they looked so unprotected and vulnerable. A lot of them wore shorts and most seemed sure-footed, even on the precarious rocky terrain in all that wind.
I was actually rather inspired, but it made me chuckle to myself – I looked a picture of everything opposite to them.
I was moving rather tentatively and carefully stepping the same route as them, but at a snail’s pace in comparison.
A Sunny Lunch Spot
The reward for reaching the top of the climb was lunch! However, there were very few places to shelter from the wind on the highest part. Finally, I managed to find a big rock that I could hide behind while still being in the sun to warm up.
The sun in January in Mallorca is still noticeably hot and will burn you if you’re out in it for a while. I have been known to sunbathe on sheltered rocks in the winter months when it’s calm weather and even swim in the sea.
After lunch I started down the faster side of the mountain. The path was clear and I could easily see where I needed to go.
The lower I got, the warmer it got and it seemed like a completely different kind of day.
Continuing on, I found the famous snow pits. They used to be used to store ice which was then brought down to the villages and towns when the weather began to get hotter later in the year.
After this part I could tell that I was getting a lot closer to LLuc, as there were a lot of people hiking on the route, still enjoying their holiday weekend.
The way down was uneventful, except for me stopping a few times to rest and drink something.
Eventually I walked down through a zigzag stone path through a wood that came out at the back of the Lluc Monastery carpark.
Close to Lluc Monastery there are several areas which are open to the public to come and use to have picnics. It’s a very Mallorquian thing to do. They bring all the food, drink, meat, charcoal and firelighters and then hang out cooking their lunch while the children play nearby.
When I arrived there were lots of families around having picnics and barbeques in the area provided. Again, I felt overwhelmed to suddenly be hit with civilisation. The contrast from the sound of the trees and rocks was a shock.
Son Amer Refugio
I passed the Monastery and then continued down the road a little to the sign that directed me to the Son Amer hostel. I could see the woods to the right where there was no sign of the hostel yet. It was discreetly tucked away in the woods to the right.
The hostel was surprisingly modern and well maintained, and looked very clean.
When I arrived, there were a few day hikers having drinks outside in the courtyard, but they soon continued on their way. When the noise of excited local families had died down the hostel was extremely quiet and peaceful.
14:41 I’ve arrived in Son Amer refuge in Lluc 😁 glad to be here in good time. I realise that I am actually really tired all over. It’s good to have one last day tomorrow which is a bit shorter (4.5 hrs) and go back home to recover a bit.
15:44 Thankfully it’s not as busy as the last place here. We are 2 ladies 😊 it’s nice to see another female hiker to be honest, we’re a rare breed 🤔
There was an older Mallorquian lady hiker there who was a pleasure to talk to, and obviously a regular visitor of the hostel.
We spent the evening together swapping stories and eating dinner and drinking wine, together with the only staff member, a kind and chatty local lady. Both ladies hiked regularly and it was fascinating to hear their stories.
I climbed into bed feeling warm inside and content with the day. I felt glad to be close to the end of my trip, even though I was still enjoying every second of it.
Day 6 – The Last Day
I had mixed feelings about the last day and mentally didn’t really want to finish. My body, however, was giving me other signals.
Tomorrow’s walk will be great though, as I have a special surprise waiting for me in the morning!
Read Day 6 of the trail here.