Sunday, 27 May 2018

Menorca: Cape Artrutz to Ciutadella

The lighthouse at Cap Artrutz

We started this walk along the Cami de Cavalls at the lighthouse at Cap Artrutz. No longer in use, it is now a cafe.

We walked along the coast road with suburban houses on the right and a rocky foreshore by the sea.

It was grey and cool, but suddenly the sun broke through and the rough scrub that we had reached revealed itself to harbour some butterflies. We quickly saw both male and female Clouded Yellows. The female turns out to be a separate form of the Clouded Yellow, form Helice (Colias croceus ssp. croceus f. helice).

There was also a nice female Common Blue.

We passed through a classic drystone wall and headed away from the village.

Soon we passed a dry stone hut on the left.

The sun went in again and we walked steadily along a rocky track with not much going on. Eventually the path approached the cliff edge and I moved closer to take a shot of the coast looking back: basically a lowish, rocky plateau.

 A but further on we passed through a gate in a spectacular drystone wall (I am a great fan of the drystone walls of Menorca)

Now we had a clearer view of the coat ahead and Cap de Menorca (the most westerly point of the island) to the left on the horizon.

Gradually the path become more level and the sea more blue ...

... and before long we entered the village of Cala Blanca, effectively the southernmost suburb of Ciutadella. The creek was a beautiful blue and was happily not too heavily developed. We paused for a light lunch in one of the cafes.

Obviously the next stage was going to be more suburban and the early omens were not encouraging as we passed the Blarney Stone Irish Pub, however we soon spotted many examples of these beautiful pink flowers which were a bit reminiscent of mimosa.

The next port of call was Cala Santandria, wider than Cala Blanca. We thought it quite an inviting spot.

At the mouth of the Cala is the Torre des Castellar. It was one of the defense towers built by the British between 1799 and 1802 with the intention of defending the coves of the island as support for the Castle of Sant Nicolau, before a possible enemy (French) landing. It is somewhat similar to the Martello towers built on the South coast of England at about the same time.

We walked along the far side of the Cala and spotted a Cleopatra butterfly (one of my favourites) before going round a small pretty inlet.

Soon we were back on a suburban road and heading around the edge of the ferry port.

A bit further on we looked across the entrance to Ciutadella harbour towards the Castell de Sant Nicolau which we saw yesterday. It is apparently illuminated at night.

A final mile or so brought to our hotel on the west side of the city centre.

Conditions: cool and cloudy for much of the time, eventually becoming bright and sunny.

Distance: about 8 miles.

Rating: fours stars.

From: Walk! Menorca by David and Ros Brawn

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