Volume 33 Number 1 Article 3
Mallorca - October ' 95
There were 11 of us looking for sun, sand, sea or sensation! On the sensation stakes Mallorca rules OK. Caving, climbing, walking and gorge descents abound. It really is a cavers paradise!
Most of us went independently and met up in Porto Pollensa to drink in the evenings and to play in the mornings. Some went for a fortnight, I went for a week, arriving in Palma at 3 am on Wednesday. By 10 am I was out in the scrub looking for Campana, a really magnificent pot that we found "hiding" about half a mile from the road. It took us a while to find it but it was well worth the effort even though it was already inhabited by the Eldon Pothole Club. It's strange to go all that way to bump into a load of English cavers!
On Thursday we went to the Torrente de Parais a really Gob-sSmacking Gorge on the North Coast. It's cut through tantalizingly high, sculpture, limestone with Sa Fosca entering about two thirds of the way up to the popular start of the walk. I am just impatient to go back and do the trip through Sa Fosca. Wetsuit-compulsory - Oct.'96!
On Friday am we went for a walk up the Boquer Valley which dissects the top right hand corner of the island from sea to sea. In the pm, back below ground again. Cal'pesso, just out of town. A very well decorated cave that made us want to cry, it had been so badly vandalized! It would have been magnificent but no doubt due to its easy accessibility it has obviously attracted the moron tendency.
Saturday. I learned something of the peculiarities of the Mallorcan language, not quite Spanish. Hardly French, just a bit weird! I drove about 50 miles the wrong way! to find Pena Roja. We did eventually find it. In spite of the Spanish Maps and surveys! They're rubbish, to be kind to them! It was too late to do the trip on Saturday so it was agreed to leave it until Manana. We all remembered George Cornes that night in the bar as it was that Saturday that his ashes were being scattered. Sunday we drove straight to Pena Roja and "picked up" four local lads in the car park who asked us if we'd show them the way, well we were experts by now! We had an interesting bit of translation to do as well as caving. Pena Roja is just awe inspiring, the formations are fabulous. I spotted rat droppings in the entrance series. More reminders that in spite of the heat of Mallorcan Caves it is important to wear protective clothing.
On Monday I went walkies (despite the heat) From Cala san Vicente up the nearest big hill and round in circles. Everything's limestone remember, it's just too much. There are reputed to be 500 caves in this corner of this little island and no real reason why there can't be a few more! Tuesday am (last day) found us on Caval Bernat ridge a really magnificent saw-tooth backdrop to Porta Pollensa. It was more technical than it had looked from the bottom, more of a climb than a walk ... all the way up, along and back down again. Tuesday pm and we went to Cova Tancada, an ex-Show cave very close to Pena Roja. We walked for half an hour through some lovely woodland out to an almost sheer drop to an inviting blue sea but we couldn't jump in as there was no way out again. Tancada was well worth a trip I - even took my camera along this time!