Andrea is visiting us this weekend, the weather is great, and today we went for a hike up to Coll des Prat from LLuc, altitude 1 200m. When we did this hike in January with Ulrike, the weather was very cold and we were fighting our way through snow and ice. Today we had sunshine and 15 degrees at the top, much better.
Sheila and I came back to Mallorca yesterday and the forecast for this week is sunshine with top temperature between 19 and 22 degrees. Today we visited friends in the north of Mallorca who run a large farm with goats, sheep, donkeys and pigs. They also make their own olive oil and we sampled some of the products. Very nice and long lunch, enjoying the food and fellowship.
I flew to London yesterday, went out with Andrea and today we came to Manchester to meet up with Sheila and Jessica and her family. We spent the afternoon in a museum, a Christmas market and a great family restaurant. Great fun!
Sheila is in the UK babysitting the grandchildren, and I am trying to keep myself busy in an unusual cold and wet time in Mallorca. Today I took a drive and walk. The Gorge of Pairs (Torrent de Pareis) is a beautiful gorge in Mallorca and one of the famous hikes here. When it rains a lot, however, there is too much water in the gorge for hiking down the steep river bed. There is access from the bottom though, at Sa Calobra, which is just a couple of restaurants set at the end of a long and very winding steep road. From there a short walk leads to the mouth of the river and usually one can walk up the canyon for a bit. When I went there today, there was so much water that I could only go a few hundred meters. The weather was rather bad, with thunderstorms and hail, but that kept the number of people visiting this top tourist attraction down. I was fortunate that the enjoyable hour I spent walking around the gorge was the only dry time this afternoon.
We had a few days of very strong winds, heavy rain and rather cold weather. Today the sun came out again. Sheila went to Palma to meet some friends from Germany, and I hiked across the hills behind our flat to the bay of San Vincenc. Beautiful views on the way and a good workout. There was not much wind, but the breakers were still rolling into the bay.
In Vancouver, there is a record breaking dry spell of 12 days without rain, which only happened once before around this time of year. It is also less rain than we have had in Mallorca this year. This morning was beautiful and sunny, though, and Sheila and I walked to Cala Murta before enjoying German cake and Spanish coffee at the lighthouse of Cap Formentor. Tonight a cold front is moving in and rain started again. There might even be snow up on the mountain tops this night.
We met our friends Siegfried and Maike in Valdemossa this morning, left one car there and drove to Esporles. From there we hiked 11km back to Valdemossa, up two mountains with nice views and very interesting landscape. This is part of the cross island path GR221, but it was not as well sign posted like the other segments for most of it. Not a problem as I had a GPS track to follow and we ended up in the right cafe after the walk. The weather was warm, but cloudy, perfect for hiking.