|Another slightly later than planned start (that free tequila again!) meant we decided to stay local on Tuesday, and try again where we'd failed earlier in the week.
So after lunch, we set off for Ses Paisses, only a 20 minute drive away. We took the signed way off the roundabout just outside the town of Arta, saying "please let it be open, please let it be open" and it was! A brand new sign had appeared screwed to the gatepost, announcing opening hours of 10 - 12:30 and 14:30 - 18:30 from April to October, the gates were open, and having paid the entrance fee of 1,55 euros each, plus 2,05 for a guide leaflet, we followed the wall round to the magnificent entrance we'd only been able to glimpse through the trees earlier in the week.
And what an entrance!
I was expecting great things. We wandered round the area just inside the wall, checking out new excavations, and then followed the rather neatly signposted route through the trees into the main body of the site - past the pillared rooms
round the bottom of the great talaiot and eventually up the side of it to admire its construction and gaze down into the tower.
The route then takes visitors past one of the alternative entrances to the settlement, and past some more pillared rooms, and then back past the talaiot and out again.
The sun was shining, there were only another 4 people there, that main entrance is impressive ..... but the place just didn't grab either me or Beardy. Maybe we'd been so amazed by the structure and scale of Son Fornes the previous day that nothing would have done.
Checking out the information leaflet, I was mystified - there's a page which explains the different shapes of talaiot and gives examples and pictures: square is Son Serra de Marina, which can also be called Santa Margalida - no problem with that - but the round example was "circular talaiot in Sa Canova". The introduction to the island in TME mentions the great talaiot of Sa Canova, and that it's ruinous now, and therefore not included, apart from a picture - only not a picture of the same structure I was looking at a picture of (grammar pedants, yes, I know, but it makes sense to me!). Checking back at my translated notes, the picture in TME is of the square talaiot of Canova d'en Morell but about 300 metres away from this, is the round and very impressive looking talaiot of Sa Clova d'es Xot which was the one in the Ses Paisses guide. Hmmm. I speak very very little Spanish (ie I can order a beer!) but can understand a bit more, so tried to have a conversation with the guy manning the ticket booth - I pointed to Sa Canova on my map, and the picture in the guide, and he told me it was on private land, and seeing as we'd been along the road where you should be able to see both of these structures a few days before, we just shrugged and decided to make a second attempt at Es Claper des Gigant - nearby and signposted.
Again - the gate was open - hurrah! We parked up and followed the pink sign almost hidden in bushes to the left of a building and came out on the path round a golf course. Almost immediately, there's a path off to the left with a wooden sign for "Es Clapers" so we followed the way through a wooded area until we came to a gate and turned right at the T head through it on the basis that my instructions said the talaiot was on high ground. There were gardeners out on the wide sandy track cutting back the undergrowth, and a few minutes walk later we caught a glimpse of some stone ahead so took a left fork off the main path and after a short climb found ourselves here:
Just to the right of the clearing (still being cleared by yet another gardener while we were there) was a talaiot
with a path up its side to let you see its centre
and what appears to be steps in the internal wall, as we'd seen in Son Fornes talaiot 2.
The surrounding area had walls
A beautiful spot - apart from the sounds of quarrying coming the far side of the golf course. But then I dug out my notes again, and realised we were actually looking at the poblat of S'Heretat, not Es Claper, after all. The surrounding area was still quite overgrown, but we tried to find the other structure mentioned in my research notes, and although there were several piles of stones on the way, we didn't find anything identifiable on the way back to the car.
A day of confusion!
Posted by sals
9th May 2006ce
Edited 9th May 2006ce
sals's TMA Blog
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