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Mallorcan central circuit

Monday 1st May
Another sunny day dawned, and our shortlist of 10 sites were between the towns of Inca, Algaida and Manacor, in the centre of the island but north of the main C715 highway.
As usual, we managed to make our approach from the opposite direction to our instructions, but, being right alongside the road, we had no problem locating the pair of talaiots of Es Racons.
The one nearer the road has not been excavated, and is crumbling away

The one set back from the road is the more impressive

and having entered the talaiot the remains of the central pillar is visible.

The site was quite overgrown, but it was well worth going round the back of the second talaiot into the wood to see where a tree has grown into its structure, and to find the megalithic locker described in TME.

With no information about what we could expect to find at Son Creixell or Sa Ritxola, both marked as places of interest on the map, we decided to head for the village of Costitx and soon found ourselves in a traffic jam caused by the local fiesta. The village was closed to through traffic, so we rejoined the PM324 to Inca and took the PM312 back down again to approach from the other direction - and then just before Sencelles we took the left turn to Son Fred.

The information board was just about undecipherable, and there were two huge mounds of sandy coloured rubble round the outside of the talaiot.

There's been excavations carried out here - the central pillar is propped and wrapped

and the area at the front has been dug to expose a step

but there's no way in through the unusual curved entrance passage.

The directions in TME are good for Son Fred - and it's easiest to find heading north from Sencelles. Our next site was to be the sanctuary of Son Corro, and the recommendation is to be travelling east to west, from Costitx to Sencelles, or you will do as we did, and miss the sign! The usual pink one has company - a white municipal sign which I believe dates the restoration of the site as having taken place in 1994.

The sanctuary is on shelf overlooking fields

with six tall columns

forming a corridor to the shorter column, still used for offerings today.

The finds from this site include 3 life-size bronze bulls heads, now in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid.

Feeling a bit more confident with our navigational skills, we went back to Sencelles and took the PM314 south to Cas Canar. After the houses at Cas Canar, just as the road bends sharply to the right, we took the turning to the right and drove slowly on, watching the fields to the left. A couple of kilometres later, we turned round, and on the way back to the main road, on a whim, stopped at a pair of gates - one low and rusty, the other over 8ft high with spikes on the top, opposite a sign saying "Sencelles 2,8", - and there in the field to the left as we looked at gates, we spotted the first of the pair of square talaiots.

The nearer one is surrounded by a modern wall and is overgrown, making it impossible to distinguish any of the expected features - a staggered entrance and part of the central pillar.

The second of the pair is barely recognisable as a talaiot anymore and will be no more than a cascade of stones in a field boundary before too long.

Enough for one day? Time for a break? No! Onwards to somewhere incredible - Son Fornes, just north of Montuiri.

The site is reasonably well signposted, and when you go through the narrow gate it's only 50 yards or so to the trees where it's best to park. Follow the track uphill on foot, and then through the gate on the right into the site. There's an information board - completely blank!

In the picture above, the talaiot to the right is talaiot 2, further away from the gate. This talaiot has a central column, and 3 steps are clearly visible in its inner wall.

The first talaiot is magnificent - 17 metres in diameter - with a huge central pillar, a side chamber big enough to climb into

and 5 metre entrance passage to negotiate.

Surrounding the two talaiots are numerous rooms and enclosures, some with pillars - in magnificent location. I was still exploring talaiot 1 when Beardy shouted to me "there's more in the next field" and sure enough, another circular building

with rooms beyond it

stretched down into a wooded area.

We then took the path to the north east into the trees on the higher part of the site, behind talaiot 2, and found a strange construction

and a beautiful section of wall.

The best was yet to come though - the huge circular platform with steps down towards the track.

The site is being excavated periodically by a team led by the "Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona" and there's a museum in the nearby town showing the finds and its website has an excellent site plan - confusingly not oriented with north at the top! - the museum is closed on Mondays; the site plan link gives full opening times and contact details.

What a glorious day!

sals Posted by sals
7th May 2006ce
Edited 7th May 2006ce

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