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Mallorca part 2 (of many?)

A quiet evening enabled me to check through my research and plan a full day's activites and we had a short list of 18 possible sites for Sunday 30 April, travelling north of our base in Cala Millor. The trip planning had of course started with the relevant section of TME and I'd found which covers most of the sites in the book plus a few more, but having got the (AA) map of the island (don't get the Rough Guide one as I did initially - hardly any archaeology marked on it so it went on Ebay and I went back to the shop for a better version), there were many many three-little-red-dot markings to indicate excavations, and some googling later, I found and set about babelfishing a laborious translation - which came out quite interesting, shall we say. The town of Porto Christo became "I carry Christ" and many of the directions left a lot to be desired, but at least we had areas to check out and pictures to help us identify what we found.
So after an early-ish breakfast we set off with the plan to check out the monument at Pula first of all - "In the highway of Son Cervera to Cala Rajada, in lands of golf of It polishes, one is in a small alongside same hill of the highway, in its right side" - and surpringly enough, we didn't find it from those instructions!
So onwards, and having ruled out trecking a few kms away from the roads across farmland to find the navetas of l'Angel and the two of Canyamel, we headed to Es Claper des Gegant, marked on the map and signposted - hurrah! - and realised the poblat of S'Heretat had to be nearby too. A pink sign led us to a gate on the left hand side of the road to Canyamel beach - with a huge padlock across it and no way in. Bugger! Dodgy directions meant abandoning looking for the poblat so we drove on, feeling just a little despondent.
The caves at Son Jaumel and poblat of Sos Sastres were ignored and we headed to the highly-recommended-to-me site of Ses Paisses - marked clearly and signposted - only

Could the day get any worse? There was no indication of when we could expect to visit either - if only I'd read but I'd had enough of translating by the time I'd found it.
So with even heavier hearts, we travelled on away from the town of Arta and took the turning off the C712 towards the Colony of St Pedro (marked as Sant Pere on our map - spelling varies quite significantly from maps to signs!) in search of the dolmen of S'Aigua Dolca (apologies for the lack of appropriate accents!) and the talaoits of Sa Clova d'es Xot and Canova d'en Morell - and failed to locate any! (Later revelations about these last two to come).
The next on our list - Son Serra de Marina - we knew would cheer us up as the directions said we couldn't miss it "on the brink of madness (of) the highway" and sure enough it was!

A policeman on a motorbike stopped in the middle of the junction, I initially thought possibly to scold me for hazardous parking (more abandonment half in a ditch!) but he was just stopping the traffic for a huge party of cyclists - complete with following ambulance, how reassuring! - to turn towards the town of Son Serra.
The talaiot here is square

Mallorca has both round and square talaiots (oops, should have explained by now that these are towers!) whereas Menorca has only round ones but this latter island also has taulas - huge T shaped monuments - which are not found on Mallorca.
Slightly more cheerful, we continued to follow the C712 north west towards the necroplis of Son Real - follow the directions in TME carefully as the track you need to take is signed, but on the wall next to the gate rather than from the road itself. We parked up, and wondering about the lack of "toilets and information by the official car park" (TME page 366) but happy as

the pigs in shit in the farm alongside the track marked "necropoli", in glorious sunshine heading towards the beach.
A fair few yards further on, the track forked with both ways being marked as necropoli, so we kept to the left and found ourselves at the beach, near a tall watchtower - at the necropolis of Illot des Porros - on an island!

Wandering north up the coast, past some caves

we eventually arrived, after only abut 1km, at Son Real itself.

with its amazing tombs - rectangular, circular and even boat shaped

A stroll back following the inland path brought us to the aformentioned fork in the path and we headed back towards Son Real farm where we failed to find the way to take to visit Es Figueral.

Dodgy directions again meant missing the dolmen of Son Baulo de Dalt, and after a well deserved and very late lunch in Porto de Pollenca, we continued north to Cala Sant Vicent - called Coves d'Alzinaret in TME but the sign - for once almost legible - was clear about the name

and helped us identify the numbers allocated to the caves by W Hemp who carried out the excavations.
This site is signposted from Porto de Pollenca - take the turn from the PM220 indicated, and when you see the pink sign to the caves off to the right, just as the houses start, beware that the taula (not native to the island, so more modern?) mentioned in TME is hidden by trees. Almost as soon as you've turned off the highway, turn left onto Carrer de Joaquim Sorolla and park up immediately. The path to the caves will be directly to your right.
Past the information board, follow the path to the right to the caves.
Cave number 6

impresses, but then on through the tiny square entrance (of which I seem to have omitted to take a picture!) into an inner entrance and then into cave 7 itself.

There are sizeable rooms to each side, and a shelf runs along both sides. The hole in the floor at the end of the cave

is a modern alteration, made possibly by smugglers, and the series of holes below the shelf on the side walls (visible in the previous picture) were made as late as by prisoners occupying the site during the Spanish civil war.
Cave number 8 is set back - maybe it originally had an inner chamber too?

Cave 9 defintely does though:

Caves 10 and 11 are much shallower

and cave 5, on the opposite side of the road leading down to the cove, has collapsed.

It had been a long day, and we were a fair way from home - at almost the most northerly part of the island, so it was then time to turn round and head back. On the way, we attempted to find the square talaiot at Llenaire, but being on an obviously marked private road - the expensive looking automatic gates just happened to be open - up to an impressive building with flags flying (now known to be an exclusive hotel), we were put off by an extremely unfriendly dog, so gave up and just went home.

To be continued .... we're not even half way through our holiday yet!

sals Posted by sals
6th May 2006ce
Edited 6th May 2006ce

Comments (1)

I am the Webmaster of the above mentioned
The problem with the three little dots for megalithic sites on the marjocan map ist, that here on Majorca a lot of megalithic sites are situated on private property. There are many sites which are even recommended for tours in some flyers of the local tourist authorities, but in fact you can't vistit them because the owners of the land closed the gates.
But anyway: Majorca is full of megalithic villages and worth a travel.
My recommendation: The megalithic museum of Son Fornes in the town of Montuiri. There you'll find experienced archeologers who can answer (almost) any question.
Or ask me...

Posted by fredvida
3rd July 2007ce
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