Usually early January is sunny and mild in Mallorca. Not this year: The last few days have been cold, wet and windy. There is snow on the mountain tops and Puig Tomir is visible from the beach. Fortunately, there are usually a couple of hours of sunshine each day and I can go for walks. Sheila is in Germany for some unavoidable appointments, and helping my parents. My mother spent Christmas in hospital, but is home now and recovering well.
I still miss our Hallberg-Rassy Blue Raven and sailing across the oceans. The current owner, Pauline, renamed her Saorsa and recently sailed from Tahiti to New Zealand. They posted a nice video and blog on their website at https://www.sailsaorsa.co.nz/single-post/tahiti-to-godzone.
We are still in a state of very much reduced social contacts, only meeting friends occasionally outside. I play golf once or twice a week, but go early when the course is very empty and play by myself. Still fun on a sunny morning, but we look forward to vaccination and a return to normal.
Today we met our friends Val and Rosie at the Mortitx Winery and hiked into the wilderness again, this time on the other side of the Mortitx River towards the cave of the witches. The landscape there is as wild as where we were before, the hike more difficult though due to very dense pampa grass and steep ravines. It was a great day out and we finished it with a little snack on our patio.
We are enjoying quiet days here on Mallorca, meeting only occasionally with friends in restaurants outdoors or on our patios. Today we hiked from the vinery Mortitx to a high plateau close to the ocean, ses Basses. The good path leads through olive groves and then along wild mountains and cliffs. The area is used as breeding ground by Black Vultures and closed from February to July to protect the birds. In November 2008 some Griffon Vultures were blown to Mallorca from the mainland and there are supposedly a few breeding pairs of those here as well.
Two years ago we were on this trail with some friends from Germany and Vancouver and decided to go down to the Mortitx Gorge. Unfortunately, there was too much water in it to go through to the gentle return path and we had to scramble up a steep mountain to get back. Today we bypassed this and enjoyed a nice lunch snack at the field at Ses Basses. The weather was perfect for hiking and we picked up some wine on the way back as well.
We returned to Mallorca and are settled in our usual winter quarters now. Just in time too, as rising Covid rates have resulted in regional and national lockdowns across Europe, some with curfews. Sitting in the sun on the patio should allow us to weather this comfortably. Unfortunately, it looks like we will not have any visitors for the foreseeable future.
We came south again as Sheila has an appointment for follow up in Frankfurt. We are staying in a small village in the Rhenish-Hessian Hills, close to Mainz. Today we enjoyed a sunny morning and hiked for a couple of hours through vinyards and woodlands showing beautiful fall colours. Due to rising Covid infection numbers we have reduced social contacts very much, but visited my parents yesterday (sitting outside with masks on).