GR221 Day 5

GR221 Day 5: Canyon Terrace Camp to Font des Prat

Miles hiked: 10-ish
Total miles: 65.5-ish
Wind in the face: A lot

Weeelllll, cowboy camping didn’t work out so well after all. I’m not sure if I’d been asleep or for how long, but passing sprinkles gave me fits of trying to ignore them, and curling as much of myself under my umbrella as possible. It could have been 20 minutes or an hour of that before I did a bad job of pitching my tarp. More like a bivy than a shelter, but effective.

A view to Sóller and the sea from the top of the barranc.

Morning was cool and cloudy. Perfect for finishing off the relentless climb through the barranc. Views became pretty darn spectacular from higher up, out over Sóller to the port and Mediterranean, framed by thousand foot cliffs of streaky limestone. I was hoping for sun at the top, but got wind instead. It was whipping out of the north, carrying a train of sun-blocking clouds. At Coll de l’Ofre I got a face full of the gale, quickly becoming chilled beyond comfort.

A full face of cold wind at Coll de l’Ofre.

I put on a layer, and a short while later, a few more. It was cold all over again. Grrrr. Without sun it was probably only about 40F to begin with, but the blast of wind was the real issue. I plowed ahead, straight into it down a dirt road through a wide and exposed valley. Whitecaps fizzled on the surface of Cúber reservoir. Stupidly, it took me a while to remember I had a pair of pants with me, so I put those on under cover of a tree. At least it was dry. If it was raining too, I would have had no choice, but to bundle into my shelter in order to stay alive.

I was fortunate that the next phase started with a moderate climb. That got my blood flowing so I was nice and warm when I crossed a small coll into another valley. The transition was immediate and welcome. No wind over here. Even though it was downhill, I ended up in shorts and a light jacket before long. What’s that? Oh yeah, there might have been a smile too.

A portal in the stone wall to a warm, windless place.

Down, while traversing the wild Almadrà Valley, then up again using a small section of chains to safeguard a cliffy bit. Rocky cruising was great from there and I even spotted a smattering of sunshine. But wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I took off my shoes for lunch, the ‘passing shower’ from the forecast said hello.

Chains, for protection, but overkill.

In total, it took about four hours for it to pass. In the mean time, I made it the rest of the way to the refugi Tossals Verds where I hunkered down under a wide awning to wait it out. The rain was as bad or worse than that seen yesterday morning, with consistent bombardments of pea-sized hail. Thank goodness for awnings, although if I hadn’t had so much stupid pride, I would have gone inside the actual building to stay warm next to the fire. Instead, I ate some things and considered some relevant, life-choices questions, but mostly got really cold. When I could wait no longer, I did some jumping jacks, then got hiking.

I slid up the slipstone while dodging puddles for a couple of miles. Clouds swirled around nameless lumps of gray limestone. Good campsites around Font des Prat convinced me to set up a little earlier than usual, but I have time to spare. Overall, I was planning on doing more lounging in the sun, but the weather’s kept me hiking to stay warm and, therefore, ahead of schedule.

This ‘passing shower’ is starting to get old.

A forest of holm oak whispers in the wind. It says, “We don’t want you here. Go home.” Okay, Mallorca, I read you loud and clear, but I can’t change my flight now. Just give me a nice day or two and I’ll never come back. I promise.

A boy can dream…

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