|Last May, Beardy and I had thoroughly enjoyed exploring Menorca and its talaiotic remains, so the renewal of annual leave entitlements, a lack of cheap fags, and the desire for some sun, lead us to head to Mallorca at the end of April.
A couple of days were spent relaxing in the city centre in Palma, but then it was time to pick up the hire car, have the usual screaming rows about how to get out of the mad city traffic and onto the correct road, but eventually we checked into our hotel on the east coast of the island and almost immediately headed out in search of the local sites.
Less than 5 km down the road, that being the main road from Son Servera to Porto Christo, the (left) turn to Sa Coma also had a pink archaeological sign to the Talaiot de Na Pol. We pulled in just past the police station, and when I checked the rear view mirror, there, on a corner lot, was the circular talaiot.
It was built over a natural cave - here's Beardy climbing out
which appears to have had much rubble and rubbish tipped into it.
I can't remember if there was an information board about the site - legible ones are few and far between, we were to discover later - but the place felt unloved and ignored, despite its signage from the road.
The gathering clouds started to chuck rain down with some force, so we retreated to the car and set of to find the Poblat Talaiotic de S'Illot - via the scenic route through the resort, with the rain worsening every second, visibility down to almost nil, and with the roads rapidly flooding. It was actually only a couple of km further south, and again signposted from the main road - but we found it eventually squashed in with hotels and holiday homes on 3 sides.
The most prominent feature is the external wall
Yes - quite wet! There are numerous rooms and enclosures around a central monument but it's hard to distinguish what's what in the ruins.
The information board had been trashed, and the continuing downpour led us to beat a relatively hasty retreat to the novelty of a free bar ....
Sat April 29th
Ah. That'll be a hangover then. Remember, free tequila always hurts more than the stuff you pay for! The plans to explore the north east of the island were put on hold to allow recovery and eventually the rain stopped, so we headed out. South again - this time off the main road from Porto Christo to Porto Colom. Just past a zoo, there's a left turn to Cales de Mallorca - also with the pink sign to Hospitalet Vell. The first site that was clearly marked on our (AA) map as "ruinas prehistoricas"!
Only about 1km down the road, you can see what appears to be a huge wall to the right a way off the road, and soon after there's another sign and a layby in front of a gate where we parked up and walked up the track to the poblat.
Before you actually get to the wall you've seen, a signpost directs you to the left to the foundations of 3 naviforms with a small wood still separating you from the major part of the site.
Back round the wood and the sheer scale of what appeared to be a wall reveals itself as a rectangular monument
with the huge blocks of stone typical of the building style of the era.
The interior of this monument had inner walls added later.
Exploring round the back, a path leads to the left to a square talaiot with a series of rooms around it
and wooden steps to allow visitors to admire the central support pillar of the talaiot and the only known remaining spars which formed the ceiling and second floor - the last century hasn't been kind to the momuments on the island and many have been left to go to ruin, if not ruined intentionally.
Beyond the talaiot and surrounding rooms, there's a heavily overgrown area with more ruins extending into the woods.
With the sun shining, we decided to continue south to just beyond Porto Colom. We ignored the first road into the town, the PM 401, but took a more minor road to the left opposite a golf course. Our directions were based on coming from the town - the opposite route - but after about 2km we spotted some stones right on the edge of the road on the left
so parked up and went to explore.
Almost all the site - called Es Closos de can Gaia - is in the process of being excavated, but at a very slow rate (20 days a year apparently) and almost all was covered with black tarp and spikes
and we could only make out only one naviform in the uncovered area and that was becoming overgrown
The site is on the road out of Porto Colom towards S'Horta - the road narrows as it leaves the urban area and the roadside stones - a naviform - are clearly visible on the right hand side.
Feeling weary, and with sunset almost upon us, we headed back for a gentle evening in preparation for a full day of exploration.
And that day's adventures will be coming soon ....
Posted by sals
5th May 2006ce
Edited 8th May 2006ce
sals's TMA Blog
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