Sunday September 26 2021 – After a reasonably comfortable night, but a breakfast which using the word “adequate” to describe would count as fulsome praise, we set off on our way, officially some 14km, to Binibèquer Vell; there was one small diversion planned to the Cami route. As ever, if you want just to se the route and some photos, there’s a video of today’s walk up on Relive.
Having said that, the first thing we did appeared to be a diversion from the official Cami trail. The interactive map which we had been consulting occasionally on our way showed a straight road, whereas the route markers on the lampposts and street signs took us off to the right.
The interactive map track is the orange path in the above. We decided in the end that the Cala en Porter Marketing Board had got to the official Cami route organisation to make sure that we passed a viewpoint so we could see a couple of attractive views.
We rejoined the straight bit and then plunged off into the undergrowth, heading steeply down a rocky path and then, yes, up another steep path for some farewell views of Cala en Porter
on a fairly broad, level path.
The diversion we had planned to visit was a little way away from the Cami trail, and we had a choice of a country trail down to it, or to keep with the Cami path. Jane opted for the latter, on the basis that it might be an easier surface.
Ah, well, never mind. We got down anyway and went to the “cove caves”, a necropolis in use to bury people from the 11th century BC until the Roman invasion, after which it was used for a wider variety of purposes. All one can see from the cove is caves in the cliff. Thanks are due to Jane for the second photo which was quite difficult to get because it was more or less directly into the sun and I frankly couldn’t be bothered.
Once again on our way, we passed views of a hillside community called, I think, Binicalaf, that we didn’t actually visit
before the path took us into a change of landscape to farming country.
We saw another wild tortoise, a bit larger than yesterday’s
Before the path suddenly jinked left
Past some impressive rock formations
and into a place called Es Canutells
at the top end of which is a pretty substantial tourist village.
The next couple of kilometres were, frankly, dull and hot; simply ploughing along a road and occasionally diving out of the way of oncoming traffic (including some motorcycle gangs – it seems that there are commonalities between England and Spain when it comes to lads on a Sunday morning).
There were a couple of handsome properties to see as we toiled along, such as this one
which we assume is a farmhouse – it appears that farming is a lucrative business to be in here –before we once again headed onto country track. It’s worth recording that the road itself gave us a clue as to when to head off into the country, via a red-and-white band on the road surface itself which stopped when we were due to turn off.
We stopped for a rest and an apple to fortify ourselves before heading off through farmland again, marked out by some fortified farmhouses such as Sargossam (now disused, it would appear)
And Santa Caterina (still, it would appear, operational).
We also passed other farm buildings and evidence of fortifications, so it was clear that at one stage this was an area where the farms had a role in defending against various marauding riffs.
This last place had a nice vegetable garden outside, mainly ploughed and awaiting new planting, but with crops at one end such as chillis and lime and persimmon trees.
The path then led us (gently, fortunately) down into a ravine called Barranc de Biniparratx
(where it became clear we were on the flight path into Mahón airport)
and up again until we caught sight of the town marking the end of this stage of the track, Binisafuller.
Sadly, much as we would have liked this to be the end of the day’s walking – it was very hot in direct sunshine – we had a couple of kilometres to go to reach our overnight accommodation. There were some handsome houses to look at as we passed
and a nice view over the beach.
There was clear evidence of fairly brutal clearing of bushes to keep the track passable
and we stumbled along this and back on to the road which fairly soon led us to our overnight stay – the remarkable place called Binibèquer Vell.
This is a sort of designer fishing village, which we had visited before a couple of years ago, and so we were quite looking forward to staying here, to satisfy our sense of curiosity about the place, which we regard as being Menorca’s answer to Portmeirion, the unique Italianate village in Wales used as the set for The Prisoner and also a popular tourist destination. “Vell” means old in Catalan, by the way, which is rather an ironic word to use for something built in 1972.
Our first task as to find a reception desk among the jumble of buildings, so we wandered sweatily around for a while past apartments, restaurants, car hire desks and supermarkets before Jane spotted a small sign saying “Reception”. After the usual Charlotte Hayward discussion, we were allowed to get to our room, a small studio apartment – with no Wifi! Shock!! Horror!!! – where we could hose ourselves off and relax for a bit. We went out to the (Spar) supermarket to get milk, water and other supplies, so that we could award ourselves a Nice Cup Of Tea (oh, and an ice cream!) and thus fortify ourselves so that we could find some lunch. The main body of Binibeca Vell looks good from a distance, but it’s very much a beach- and swimming-focussed enterprise, with a very touristy feel to it. So we went a short way, back to where I took the above photo, to a restaurant and “pool chillout bar” called Sa Cuina, which was altogether calmer and more restrained – but also no Wifi! (I begin to detect a pattern, here). Jane opted for refined food like tapas and salad, and I had a burger; and the beer (me) and gin (both of us) were very, very welcome indeed. We’d only covered 10 miles, but most of it was in direct and sizzling sunshine; I’m only glad the going was not too difficult, as this would have made it a very trying day, I think.
Today was our penultimate day of walking the Cami, which must mean that we will complete the circuit tomorrow as we make our way along the last 18km back to where we started in Mahón .
Our stats for the day:
- 10.08 miles walked
- 210 metres climbed
Therefore we’ve covered over 130 miles, according to Garmin. I have one pair of clean socks left which I have carefully saved for the last day’s walking, but I’m certainly going to need to order a fresh sock stock for continuing exercise once we get back to the UK, as the ones I’ve been using here are utterly shot. Remarkably, though, we are not suffering from any walking-related injuries from this trip, despite the miles covered. You’ll have to tune in again tomorrow to find out how the day unfolded.