The mouth of the river Algendar at Cala Galdana
For today's walk we have come to Cala Galdana on the south coast of Menorca to do two there-and-back walks.
The first one is along the gorge of the Algendar. We head away from the town, initially past an array of bars and restaurants, with the river, already narrowing, in a concrete channel on our right. Quite quickly we reach open country and see the high right hand side of the gorge over to our right.
We are in fact walking along a track to a house, but soon the path veers right and we are surprised to find a rather beautiful hen in the long grass.
Here is our first view of the gorge proper.
It's very overcast and quite cool. There is a lot of birdsong from mainly invisible birds, but soon we start to see numbers of Speckled Wood butterflies, the orange European race.
There are lots of small whites too. Gradually the the gorge opens out and the vegetation changes. We see blue and brown damselflies.
Rocky heights loom ahead.
Quite suddenly the imposing left wall of the gorge closes in on us
It looks like we have reached a dead end. Our walk book describes an open gate and we can see the gate ahead but it looks - and indeed is - firmly locked. We see if there is a way round, but the obvious desire path to the right has been barricaded too. We chat to a very pleasant English couple who have been birding and they point to the Egyptian vultures circling above us.
There is no option but to turn back, having foregone about a quarter of the walk. Things brighten up on the butterfly front though and we see a Cleopatra and a Small Copper.
We return to Gala Galdana and have some lunch.We then head off on the steep and direct route towards Cala Macarella. There are great views back over the bay as we climb.
At the top the path levels out and becomes quite wide, if rather uneven in places. There are a number of orchids to the side of the path.
But not many butterflies, until I spot two or three Painted Ladies off to the left.
After a while we come to the wooden staircase which leads down to Cala Macarella. I think I counted 190 steps before we reached the back of the beach.
The path joins the beach at the right side in the photo. I decided to head round to the cliffs on the other side to take this picture.
By climbing another stair case it was possible to get a view of Cala Macaretta, a delightful concealed inlet on the side of the main bay. It is so secluded that it is apparently the preserve of naturists.
After returning to the main beach and enjoying the view for a while, there was nothing for it but to climb the 190 steps and make our way back to Cala Galdana.
Conditions: warm, but rather cloudy.
Distance: about 6 miles.
Rating: four stars.
From: Walk! Menorca by David and Ros Brawn