Nan’s Day Out into controversy
By Shirley Roberts, 20th September 2020
Published in Majorca Daily Bulletin
I managed to get one more Nan’s Day Out, after all, before oldest Granddaughter hit the airport and flew into the excitement of Brighton. Her language skills have come in very useful lately and I am going to miss having my personal interpreter. I am also going to miss her larger than life personality and the ability to laugh often and loudly. All three girls have that ability and it is just so refreshing to see the world through young smiling eyes. ‘Let’s have a laugh Nan’ is so much nicer to hear than the alternative.
We had heard from their very fit Mum, of a walk not far from home. Just before Raixa, on the same side of the road, is a lane which leads to the beginning of the S’Alqueria d’avall Estate. This is a ‘Possession’ amongst acres and acres of privately owned land. Possessions are big business in Majorca and the walking trails of the island bring people into their world. In 1785 a map was produced which provided the first reference point of all the Possessions in existence then. The number was 1250 and many of them are still accessible, in one form or another today. There are many local walkers who have visited many of these places and are considered experts in this history of Majorca. This was feudal Majorca at its best with the peasants living in the outhouses and working the land. The house itself was generally very grand and included its own olive press and private chapel.
This was a walk I knew I couldn’t complete owing to dodgy knees, but I could facilitate. We started with the amble up to the house along the lane from the main Soller road. First sight is of a notice with a list of rules and a time frame for visits. This house must have many walking past their front door so you can see the point. It is only in later research I understood that local people have fought long and hard for access to the peak of Sa Gubia. The house is owned by the Canellas family (Mr C used to be a President of Majorca).The family have decided that access is now available from Sunday to Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. The people of Bunyola are not happy about this and protests have already taken place since these rules arrived in August 2020.
On our visit we were well within the time limits and headed up the start of the climb to the peak and viewing point – a mere 600 metres above sea level.A quick refreshment stop at the point I could not walk further, then the girls left me for their mission to the peak. I was walking on a very easy wide path so don’t let my opinion put you off. My problem is the downward path and its pull on the knees. Many would consider me a wimp but I sat in the glorious hinterland, in the mountains just enjoying the views and the stillness of the world. The odd whooshing in the trees from a passing bird and that was it. Exactly the place to have a conversation with the trees and ask them if they are enjoying a little less pollution.
Time passed and loud voices could be heard coming back down the trail. The girls had got to the top and could see for miles and miles. Half of Majorca and out to sea was visible from the top. The walk went into rubble at the end to get to the peak but the rest was on a very well maintained road.What a glorious walk they said and just no-one else around. The walkers of Majorca may well have been put off by the rules but it is open. This path links up to others connecting on into a walk to Valldemossa and Raixa. The walks of this side of the mountain are not commonly known and I think goes back to the history of access. I am sure as the months go on more will be learnt about that. Perhaps it would be a good time to go soon in case the gate gets shut into controversy.A great ‘Nan’s Day Out’ and one for our collective memory box.