Wednesday 11 September 2019

Back to magnificent Menorca......

We've just had another glorious holiday in one of our favourite corners of the planet, the beautiful island of Menorca, but we almost didn't make it. The week before we were due to fly I'd gone into hospital for a biopsy and the bl--dy doctors wouldn't let me out.  They wanted to cut a hole in my side and stick a cathether through, presumably with a tap on it, to enable me to pass water from my bunged up kidney.  I refused to let them.  A 'bag' was mentioned too.  They could get lost!  I'd look well running or swimming with such impedimenta trailing beside me.    After four sleepless nights, due to constant noise and glaring lights, I was knackered.
"If you don't let me out tomorrow, I'll discharge myself" I told them.
Reluctantly, they allowed me home next morning, four days before our holiday was due to begin.
Our hotel with its feet in the sea    (Click to enlarge pictures)
Check-ins and flights both in and out were OK but we'd the usual long wait for our baggage at Manchester on return.
Sunrise run to the Tower
As on previous occasions we stayed at 'The Xuroy', a wonderfully situated hotel that sits with its feet in the water and gives access to the Cami de Cavalls (the way of horses), a well marked trail that goes all round the island.
The festival begins
After a pre-breakfast run to the Tower and back on our second day we took the bus to Sant Louis to watch the festival of horses.
Clever lady
Tons of sand are spread on the street where the action takes place to make it safer for the rearing horses.
A dangerous game
In the limited space in front of the band-stand, where all the dignitaries sit, crowds of people gather, some of them to tap the wheeling steeds as they rear into the air.
I gave that a miss...
It's a dangerous game and we heard one or two ambulances tearing through the streets.  I wasn't trying to 'prove' myself but still got a knock from one of the horses, but nothing serious.
One of the many cooling swims
We returned to our hotel for lunch before going down to the pool for a gentle swim to cool off from the scorching 86ยบ heat.
Feral cats
We ran to Rafalet Vell in search of wild tortoises but saw nary a one.  What we did see was the group of feral cats which were a little tamer this year than last time we came across them.
Two of the 7 or 8 feral cats
Some kind person feeds them every day and they all look in tip top condition.
Swimming at sunrise, Cala Rafalet
On another day we embarked on a five mile run incorporating a wild swim at Cala Rafalet.
Sunlight on the rocks, Cala Rafalet
It's a rocky inlet of deep water between high cliffs and we got there just as the sun was rising at the entrance between the rocks.  Magic.
We ran back to our hotel via S'Algar where sunbathers were just beginning to emerge.  Our breakfast wasn't untill 8.30
Enjoying a coffee at the bakery.
After breakfast we got into the habit of visiting the bakery at S'Algar, mainly for bread, but also to enjoy a cappuccino before walking the mile back to our hotel.
A sunrise view as we ran North to Son Vidal
All our runs were pre-breakfast so we were treated to some dramatic skies as we ran West or North along the Cami de Cavalls.
No place for road runners..
Wherever we ran, it was rough going and we'd to be extremely careful not to trip up..
...but OK for hardened fell runners
Remarkably, with my failing eyesight, I never had a fall.
Inside the 'Oliver House'
 My wonderful partner visited Mahon alone one day, mainly to look around the 'Oliver House' which was open to the public.
View over the rooftops in Mahon
The Inter Island ferry was in the harbour
So was a three masted sailing ship.
A 'long thing' to sit on -  at Es Grau
We'd a walk round the nature reserve at Es Grau one day but all the natural phenomena seemed to be hiding, or sheltering from the heat.
No tortoise or raptors, but some big fish in the lake and a heron on the lookout for smaller ones.
RIP Happy Hour
 We were rather upset to find that 'Happy Hour' on the terrace, which always began at the beginning of September has been moved to October!  Who the hell goes in October?
Still happy - in spite of no Happy Hour
But we still went down at the appointed hour to enjoy the view and the ambience.
Waiting for a last meal before flying home
Traditionally, on our last day we'd a relaxed lunch at the fine Piccolo Mundo restaurant to round off our holiday.  Hours later we were flying home
It was another wonderful holiday.  Doctors can cut and zap me as much as they want now - so long as they get me running again.
But it could be a while.


  1. Looks and sounds like a fabulous holiday. Pray things go well with your medical issues.
    Take care.

  2. We didn't achieve as much as usual but it was a really nice break, just when I needed it. Thankyou for your prayers.

  3. Ah" my favourite place Gordon, brings it all back to me looking at your photos, me and the wife were over again in july for a week, only done a couple of easy runs mainly along the cami de cavalls which as you know its a tad rough under foot, but still very enjoyable, nice to see you still plugging away Gordon hope you get your health issues sorted soon take care pal, cheers!

    1. Cami de Cavalls is indeed rough, dunno how horses coped with it. Where were you staying? Have you located Cala Rafalet, one of Menorca's hidden gems and our favourite swimming pool?
      Thankyou for your good wishes re my health issues, I'm getting them sorted now. Cheers!

  4. oh" good, glad your getting sorted Gordon, we stayed at son bou again lovely hotel called valentin its on the top of a hill we"ve been there quite a few times, we haven't come across cala rafalet but looking at your photos maybe next time we are over we"ll have to see if we can find it, looks a cracking place. cheers Gordon.

    1. The Valentin may be at the top of the hill we run to from San Tomas. Cala Rafalet would be difficult to get to from Son Bou, we do it from Alcaufar.
      All the best.

  5. Lovely to see and read your post, pleased you enjoyed a great holiday. Hoping that all goes well with your medical issues.

    Take care of yourself.

    All the best Jan

    1. I'm allowing the doctors to take care of me now Jan - unless they decide to do something I don't like!
      Glad you enjoyed the Menorca post, it's a beautiful place. Cheers!

  6. Welcome back Old Runningfox , your holiday was well needed and deserved Gordon , although I was sorry not to see you at the top of hill with the big flag at your village gala fell race . I liked the report from Menorca and the pics are really nice . I hope that you can solve your health problems without the doctors doing serious staff on you , all the best for your running . Antonio .

    1. Sorry not to have seen you at Burnsall or Hebden. We've handed over the flag to someone with younger legs so wont be seeing you at the top of the crag any more.
      The doctors are doing 'very serious' stuff which may well interfere with my running - for a while. All the best to you.

  7. Well done on getting away, Gordon. Meanwhile, I was in Scotland with Markus, who some years ago you inspired to enter the TGO Challenge, where Sue and I met him in 2008. He and I have enjoyed a number of backpacking trips and TransAlp cycling trips, which wouldn't have happened without your earlier inspiration...

    1. I well remember meeting Markus at Ben Alder Cottage and telling him about the Challenge. It's amazing how a casual meeting can develop and influence other people. Give my regards to Markus if you see him.
      I was determined to get away, regardless of what doctors said, and I really enjoyed Menorca. You may have noticed that we favour the flatter places nowadays? Cheers!

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Not sure, Gordon - perhaps I decided it just duplicated what I'd already said. Anyway, the removed text was the following innocuous comment.

    "I enjoyed a few days with Markus recently - he loves the highlands and of course he sends his best wishes."

    Very best wishes from Timperley

    1. I'd read your original comment Martin and didn't see anything wrong with it, so I was a bit puzzled.
      All the best